A program designed to compensate victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh began operations on Jan. 22.
However, New York City attorney Jordan Merson of Merson Law says any victims, or survivors, should first consult with a lawyer experienced in sexual abuse cases before entering information to the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.
Merson said his law firm has been working with victims in Pennsylvania and New York state, and his offices have received many calls from victims.
“I think it is fair to say, and this has gone on over the last three years, most of the calls (from people) who have gone about it themselves were offered a very low amount of money,” Merson said of the compensation program. “The program is voluntary as so far as they can go through the program and not accept it and not bar their ability to pursue a case in court.
“If they accept money, they cannot participate in a lawsuit that comes thereafter.”