The $3.2 million settlement of a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Catholic church made news nationwide last week. Plaintiff lawyers at Abels & Annes P.C. and Hilfman & Martin, P.C. announced the settlement of the claim against the Archdiocese of Chicago, Cardinal Francis George and the Catholic Bishop of Chicago. The case involved the sexual abuse of a minor boy by former Rev. Daniel McCormack. $300,000 of the settlement is to be placed in escrow for services. The identity of the plaintiff and his family are confidential.
As the Washington Post reports, the case involved the sexual abuse of a boy by former Roman Catholic Priest Daniel McCormack.
The preteen victim in this case was one of five victims McCormack admitted to abusing when he pleaded guilty in 2007. He served half of a 5-year prison sentence and remains in a mental health facility under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act. The suit claimed church failed to keep McCormack away from children despite knowing he had sexually abused minors.
As we reported on our Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, Hilfman and Martin and Abels & Annes were the only law firms in McCormack litigation that took the depositions of many senior Archdiocese officials, including priests, seminary leaders and other key Archdiocese personnel.
The firms were able to reach the favorable settlement on behalf of the victim shortly before trial.
“Representing child victims of sexual abuse in cases against religious institutions, school districts, day care centers and other organizations that interface with children implicates complex and sensitive issues and requires a unique approach given the ages of our clients,” said David Abels, a partner at Abels & Annes. ” We are proud to work every day on their behalves to represent their interests and maximize rewards that, we feel, are deserved.”
The two firms continue to work with plaintiffs in other civil cases against the Chicago Archdiocese and the Cardinal. Those cases also involve the failure of church officials to timely remove McCormack from duties that provided him with access to children.