The child sexual abuse lawsuits against the Congregation of Christian Brothers in North America continues, in response to the failure of the organization to protect children from sexual abuse and physical abuse at two schools near Seattle. The organization recently agreed to pay $24.6 million to settle 50 cases regarding Edward Courtney at several schools in Washington State. Because the Christian Brothers ran schools all over the United States, it is possible that there are more men who have abused children, and the victims have yet to come forward. The Christian Brothers has recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which would set a deadline for victims of sexual abuse to come forward, seek legal action, and receive compensation. If you or someone you know has been abused sexually or physically by anyone, contact a lawyer today. You may have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit and receive the compensation you deserve.
The Seattle Archdiocese hired the Christian Brothers to run several Catholic schools. The Brothers are not ordained priests, and cannot provide the sacraments of the Catholic faith. The organization hired Edward Courtney to work at O’Dea High School in Seattle, despite allegations that he had been sexually abusing boys at several schools in Illinois and Michigan. In 1974, he began teaching at O’Dea. After fresh allegations of abuse were reported to his supervisors, they forced him to attend a Canadian sexual-abuse rehabilitation program. Upon his return, the Christian Brothers did not limit his access to boys — instead, they simply moved him around to different schools in the area. Not long after this, he became principle of St. Alphonsus Parish in Seattle, where the abuse of boys continued. When he was teaching at a public school in Othello, Courtney was finally convicted of a felony for indecent behavior with a child.
Lawsuits against the Christian Brothers allege that the organization knew that Courtney had a history of sexually abusing children, but they did not adequately protect the children from his predatory pedophilia, and they did not turn him over to police. Instead, they simply moved him to different schools and attempted to cover up or ignore the problem.
Courtney may be just one of many Catholic school teachers who has abused children. If you or someone you know has been the victim of an abuser, you may be entitled to significant compensation if you come forward. We can help you file a lawsuit.
The Seattle Archdiocese and the Christian Brothers have paid millions to settle claims brought by victims of abuse. In 2008, a Skagit Valley Man who was the victim of Courtney’s sexual abuse in the 1980s was awarded $1.1 million in 2008. The man was a student of St. Alphonsus while Courtney was employed there. Six other men have recently come forward, accusing Courtney of sexually abusing them at O’Dea, St. Alphonsus, and a school in Othello.
Edward Courtney is now 75 years old. He owns a home in Burien, WA, and splits his time between Burien and Hawaii, according to the Seattle PI.
On April 28, 2011, the Christian Brothers filed for bankruptcy, following several settlements in which they awarded victims of sexual abuse millions in damages. By filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the organization seeks to place a deadline for new sexual abuse cases. If you or someone you know was the victim of sexual abuse by a member of the Christian Brothers in Catholic school, you may have a limited amount of time to file a lawsuit, and you should not hesitate to contact a lawyer. We offer a free, confidential consultation.
We Can Help – Christian Brothers Sexual Abuse Lawsuit
There are over 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the United States today. One out of every four girls and one out of every six boys experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. And, one out of every five children will be solicited for sexual abuse on the internet. In most cases, the victims of childhood sexual abuse do not report the abuse at all or don’t report it until many years after the abuse happens.
While there are many legal barriers to prosecuting the sexual predators that inflict this abuse, our lawyers have worked to overcome those barriers in the Legislature and in the courts. Senator Martha Escutia (Ret.) and Senator Joseph Dunn (Ret.) were heavily involved in passing California legislation that significantly increased the time for victims of abuse to sue their sexual predators and those that employed the sexual predators. This new legislation allowed literally thousands of victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits (and receive significant recoveries) that were otherwise barred by the former statute of limitations.
The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, has further committed itself to protecting victims of childhood sexual abuse by relentlessly pursuing sexual predators in court. The Firm is actively involved in representing clients who have been abused by predators in a variety of settings, including churches, youth organizations, schools, and in the home. If you or someone close to you has been sexually abused, The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, can provide experienced, effective, and compassionate representation to ensure that your rights to compensation are fully protected.