NEW JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — Sunday begins a two-year opportunity for victims of sexual abuse as minors in New Jersey to file civil suits against their alleged attackers and the entities that may have protected them.
The Catholic Church is likely to be the main target of this window of opportunity, although lawyers say they won’t be alone.
“A number of other youth service organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America as well as public and private schools, have also had issues where they failed to protect kids in their care,” David Inscho, a partner at the Philadelphia-based Kline and Specter law firm, told KYW Newsradio.
Most of the alleged victims are in their 50s now and were hesitant to take legal action. If they tried, time limits stopped them. Until now.
“We will be filing lawsuits early in this window on behalf of several survivors who have been previously closed out by the statute of limitations who have not received compensation for their injuries,” Inscho added.
There is expected to be a rush to county courthouses, he said, but not enough to bog the system down.
The Catholic Church in February issued a list of 188 former priests “credibly accused” of abuse in New Jersey. Many of them are dead. The five dioceses across New Jersey established compensation funds for victims in return for not taking the cases to court. That opportunity expires at the end of the month.
KYW Newsradio attempted to contact the Diocese of Camden for this story, which covers much of South Jersey, but calls were not returned.