WILMINGTON — Two men whose lawsuits against religious-order Catholicpriests are pending in state and federal courts called for Delawarelawmakers to resume efforts to change the state’s civil statute oflimitations for child sexual abuse – and give those previously blockedby it their day in court. Read more coverage Saturday in The News Journal and at www.delawareonline.com.
Eric Eden, a former student atSalesianum School, and Navy Commander Kenneth Whitwell, who hadattended Archmere Academy, who say they were abused by priests whenthey were students, called for the changes during a press conference atthe office of their attorney, Thomas S. Neuberger.
Severallawmakers introduced a bill earlier this year to change the civilstatute, which limits the amount of time a person can sue for damages.At present, Delaware law allows suits to be filed for two years afterthe injury.
Several states have reviewed statutes of limitationssince the problem of clergy sexual abuse emerged as a national scandalin 2002. People around the nation alleged they had been abused butsilenced by confidentiality agreements and denied legal remedy bystatutes of limitations.
California lawmakers provided a temporary window during which those whose suits were blocked could file them.
Delawarelawmakers tried to change the civil statute in the last legislativesession, but disagreements arose and they ran out of time. In additionto extending the time for filing lawsuits, the original bill called fora two-year window in which those whose cases would have been blocked bythe statute of limitations could file them.
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