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Sexual abuse victims who suffer at the hands of a priest, clergy member, family member or teacher may have legal recourse for the terrible crimes committed upon them. In Pennsylvania, any person who is injured by the actions of another person or business has the right to file a civil lawsuit. Unfortunately however, the statute of limitations may be an issue. Click here to access a free legal article about the Pennsylvania statute of limitations in a child sex abuse case.

Defendants in a Pennsylvania Priest/Child Sex Abuse Case

Not only can the abuser be sued in a civil action, any other person or business entity which knew or should have known about the abuse yet failed to stop or report it may be sued as well. The laws of many states including Pennsylvania and New Jersey allow these kinds of actions. A common example is an archdiocese or church which had reason to suspect that a priest or clergy member was abusing children, yet did nothing or worse, moved the abuser to other unsuspecting churches. In this situation, the law may allow a priest sex abuse victim to bring suit against the church or archdiocese.

Other defendants often include:

  • private and public schools,
  • day care centers,
  • youth organizations, and
  • athletic and sports leagues.

Claims in a Pennsylvania Priest/Child Sex Abuse Lawsuit

The primary basis of a child sex abuse lawsuit is the assaultive behavior of the abuser, who can be sued under civil theories of assault, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, negligence and more. When a second defendant is sued, such as a church, archdiocese or school, there are several potential negligence theories which may be advanced:

  • negligent hiring,
  • negligent retention of a known or reasonably suspected child abuser,
  • failure to have policies and procedures relating to child abuse, and
  • failing to train employees about any existing child abuse policies and procedures.

Related Pennsylvania Priest/Clergy Sex Abuse Legal Articles:

Pennsylvania Priest/Clergy Sex Abuse Lawyer

Former sex crimes unit prosecutor, Brian Kent, has devoted his entire career to helping victims of sex abuse find justice. For a free, confidential consultation about a Pennsylvania or New Jersey priest/clergy sex abuse case, call Click To Call. Mr. Kent’s law firm has the resources and experience to handle matters outside the Pennsylvania and New Jersey area, and the firm’s sex abuse lawyers can be admitted into other states such as New York.

**This website does not provide legal advice. Every case is unique and it is crucial to get a qualified, expert legal opinion prior to making any decisions about your case. See the full disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

Published: September 11, 2012