Wrongful Death Suit Brought Against Catholic Diocese

A 50 year old Los Angeles man committed suicide in 2015 after he was unable to cope with continued feelings of depression, violation, and guilt. He struggled with these emotions for decades, after having been subjected to repeated sexual abuse by a local area priest as a child.

His family is now pursuing a wrongful death suit.

Web of Sadistic Abuse

The victim served as an altar boy in the 1970s at a Catholic church and school, under the authority of the predator priest. There the victim became one of many boys subjected to repeated sexual abuse. In the widespread sexual abuse scandal that took place in recent years, this priest was revealed to be one of the worst predators in the Catholic Church.

The suit alleges that the priest “set his sights on [the victim’s] youthful vulnerability” and “entrapped [the victim] in his web of sadistic abuse while simultaneously alienating [the victim] from his family and support system” (www.patch.com).

The predator priest is said to have warned the victim to stay silent and made threats if he ever said anything. The victim stayed silent, out of fear, until many years later, when other victims began coming forward.

A Wrongful Death Lawsuit

A wrongful death suit may be pursued when someone dies as a result of the misconduct or negligence of another. It is a civil claim, separate from any criminal charges, that provides financial compensation for the loss of a loved one. It may be brought by the surviving spouse, partner, children, or personal representative of the decedent’s estate, and at times by parents, siblings, or other family members.

Compensation is available for loss of household support, anticipated future earnings, loss of love and affection, and to cover funeral expenses, and any medical or hospital bills.

A wrongful death claim must show that:

  1. The defendant owed a duty to the victim
  2. The defendant violated that duty
  3. This violation – “negligence” or “misconduct” – caused the death – a result that was reasonably foreseeable. The burden of proof in such a case is “a preponderance of the evidence” – usually instructed to mean, if met, that the defendant’s conduct “more likely than not” caused the defendant’s death

Other Forms Of Predatory Abuse

In addition to sexual abuse, other forms of victimization can occur when one is harassed, bullied, or stalked. If the behavior is serious or persistent enough – it can lead to depression and other mental suffering.

Call Fox and Fox Today

If you have a loved who took their life after being subjected to any form of abuse, or died as a result of the wrongful or negligent actions of another, we invite you to contact Fox and Fox law firm today at (818) 986-4494 to arrange a free consultation. You may be entitled to significant compensation that, while impossible to bring back your loved one, may help your family to not just survive, but to enjoy a quality of life you may otherwise not have.