In total, the names of 128 priests have been disclosed by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
Churches across the country have begun to create programs to financially compensate victims. Most of these programs follow a similar structure, like that of the Philadelphia Archdiocese.
The church allocates a set amount to the program fund, and opens up a window of time for victims to sign up. At the end of the program, the money is divided among those who have signed on. Programs like this are NOT a lawsuit, and often they require you to waive your right to sue.
Can I receive compensation?
If you were sexually assaulted in any way as a child by any member of any of the 12 Roman Catholic dioceses of California, whether or not they were listed by Merson Law or in documents provided by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, you can receive monetary compensation.
In many cases, victim compensation programs have their own vetting process to determine who they will accept. People often wonder if they have enough evidence, or if the church will believe them. Only you know the truth, and if you were the victim of sexual assault, we can help you to take care of the paperwork.
When will the program begin?
After years of letting this plague of sexual abuse run unchecked, the Catholic Church is finally cracking down on its own. Currently, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles has only announced that a compensation program is in the works.
As pressure from the public continues, the Catholic Church is being forced into finally addressing the scandal. Merson Law will continually update you on any news regarding California’s compensation program.
Why Should I get a Lawyer?
Victims programs often advertise that you do not need a lawyer to sign up, and that one will be provided for you when you do. This is true, but misleading. The lawyer provided to you by the church will not be YOUR lawyer. He or she works for the interest of the church, not for you, and is mostly retained for the church’s own legal protections.
Like in most legal matters, you’ll receive more compensation if you have a lawyer. Additionally, as mentioned before, victims’ programs often require you to sign away your right to sue, among other things. We do not want you to get “tricked” by the church’s lawyers. Having your own lawyer present assures you that you completely understand the process and that you do not inadvertently sign off on things you didn’t mean to.
As an experienced sexual assault lawyer, Jordan Merson understands that not everyone can afford costly lawyer fees. Despite this, it is incredibly important for victims to have proper representation in these matters. Merson takes no out of pocket fee from the client for this reason.