Years ago, when they were both colonies, Delaware and Pennsylvania had the same Governor and their own legislature. For years, Delaware has looked to Pennsylvania for guidance. It is about time in the case of Childhood Sex Abuse that Pennsylvania follows Delaware’s lead.
In 2007, after the first Philadelphia Grand Jury report on the problem of child sex abuse in the Catholic Church and a series of news articles that reveal a similar pattern in the Wilmington Delaware Diocese, The Delaware General Assembly passed a law giving survivors of childhood sex abuse whose right to file a case had been barred by Delaware’s two year statute of limitations, a “two year window “ wherein previously barred claims could be filed. This is basically what the Pa. House has passed and what the Pa. Senate just ignored.
The Catholic Church and the Insurance Industry made the same objection in Delaware in 2007 that we have recently heard in Pa. – it was unconstitutional, it would be financially devastating to the good Charitable institutions etc. None of these proved true. The Delaware Supreme Court unanimously rejected the constitutional challenge.
On the eve of one of the first trials, the Catholic Diocese, realizing they were going to lose the case before the Jury, filed for reorganization bankruptcy. Like many businesses who have sought Chapter 11 protection, this was just a tool to minimize their expense and force the plaintiffs to settle all at once. The Diocese paid off the survivors and emerged from the Bankruptcy with little change in their operations.
The litigation did finally open up for the World to see (the story was reported even in Rome) what the Church had done to cover up the sins and crimes of its Priests. For the first time in decades, survivors got some measure of justice.
An important step in healing is to confront the abuser and hold them accountable. The Delaware sexual abuse lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. empower survivors to seek justice in order to enable them to move forward without fear or shame. Call 302-656-5445 or complete our online form for a free initial consultation in a supportive environment. From our offices in Wilmington and Georgetown, Delaware, as well as our new office in Pennsylvania, we represent clients throughout the surrounding areas.