Long Island Diocese Seeks Bankruptcy Protection Following Wave of Abuse Lawsuits

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A diocese on Long Island is filing for bankruptcy protection to deal with legal expenses that stemmed from multiple sexual abuse lawsuits.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre says it needs Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing to restructure and to help facilitate settlements to dozens of sexual abuse victims who filed sexual misconduct lawsuits under the state's Child Victims Act.

“We believe that this process offers the only way to ensure a fair and equitable outcome for everyone involved, including abuse survivors whose compensation settlements will be resolved by the courts,” Bishop Barres said in a statement.

Last year, the diocese filed a legal challenge arguing that the Child Victims Act that loosened statutes of limitations on molestation cases violates the New York state constitution.

Back in 2018, the diocese agreed to pay claims to more than 200 sex abuse victims, before the Child Victim Act was passed and even more lawsuits were filed.

Rockville Centre is not the first to seek bankruptcy protection under the weight of sexual misconduct lawsuits. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester was the first to do so in New York.

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