The New Jersey Law Journal’s Charles Toutant recently talked to Laffey, Bucci & Kent attorney Stewart Ryan regarding the firm’s lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for an article entitled, Pennsylvania Priest Sex Abuse Victims Who Sued in New Jersey Facing Jurisdictional Fight.

The article provides an update on the jurisdictional issues faced by some plaintiffs who are alleging that they are victims of priest sexual abuse. Laffey, Bucci & Kent represents plaintiffs in two such cases against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Ryan told the New Jersey Law Journal that he is confident that the courts will find the archdiocese is subject to jurisdiction in New Jersey. In its opposition to the archdiocese’s motion to dismiss, the Laffey, Bucci & Kent team cited a 2006 New Jersey Supreme Court case, Hardwicke v. American Boychoir School, which held that a private boarding school could be held liable for sexual abuse of children by its employees.

“In Hardwicke, the New Jersey Supreme Court came down squarely on the issue to say the scope of employment that would create vicarious liability can extend beyond usual norms,” Ryan said in the article.

Ryan went on to say that a grand jury report on clergy sexual abuse in Philadelphia indicated the archdiocese knew its priests routinely took children to the Jersey Shore to sexually abuse them.

Read the full article in the New Jersey Law Journal (Subscription required)