Monday, June 22, 2020

Preliminary Objections Overruled in Clergy Abuse Personal Injury Case

In the case of Patchkoski v. Diocese of Scranton, No. 2019-CV-5061 (C.P. Lacka. Co. June 12, 2020 Bisignani-Moyle, J.), the court addressed several Preliminary Objections to a personal injury Complaint arising out of claims of clergy abuse.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff filed the Complaint against various Defendants relative to allegations of clergy abuse within the Diocese and an “alleged cover-up” of the same by the Diocese, all of which resulted in personal injuries to the Plaintiff.

The Defendants filed various demurrers to the different claims asserted, including claims of Conspiracy, Fraud, Constructive Fraud, and for Punitive Damages. The Defendants also asserted that the Plaintiff’s claims failed due to the failure of the Plaintiff to have standing to bring the claim and due to the Plaintiff’s failure to add the Vatican as an indispensable party.

In the end, the Court denied all of the demurrers asserted and also found that the Plaintiff had standing to pursue the claim.

The Court also held that the Vatican was not an indispensable party that was required to be joined in this matter. The Court noted that, although the Plaintiff mentioned the complicity of the Vatican in the Complaint, there was no allegation that the Vatican caused the Plaintiff’s alleged injuries.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK

I send thanks to Attorney Christopher Quinn of the Kingston, PA law firm of Hourigan, Kluger & Quinn for bringing this case to my attention.

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