Category: Bankruptcy

Syracuse Diocese Bankruptcy Filing Deadline Set for April 15

During a hearing held on Thursday, Oct. 15, in the Diocese of Syracuse’s bankruptcy case, Chief Judge Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court Northern District of New York ruled that sexual abuse survivors have until April 15, 2021, to file claims against the Diocese of Syracuse.

Contrary to what you might think, a bankruptcy filing does not mean the Syracuse Diocese is broke: it means the Diocese is asking for the Bankruptcy Court for help resolving the rest of the sexual abuse claims against it.  Its assets will be allocated among all of its creditors, including an unknown number of sexual abuse claimants, known and unknown.

Bankruptcy is also a means by which a Catholic Diocese can continue to protect itself and its secrets, and, for that reason it is often criticized by survivor advocates and attorneys.  The Diocese of Syracuse will not likely have to publicize any priest personnel files as part of this process, for example.

The April 15 filing deadline is also referred to as a “bar date” in bankruptcy law.  It is a strict, non-negotiable deadline by which all existing claims must be filed against the Diocese of Syracuse or claimants will be forever barred from seeking relief in the future.

For survivors of sexual abuse by anyone employed by the Diocese of Syracuse such as a priest, teacher, sacristan, or lay volunteer, this likely means that even though New York lawmakers extended the statute of limitations window to August 12, 2021, your claim will be forever barred on April 15, 2021.  That makes it critically important for anyone who was victimized by a Syracuse Diocese employee to contact competent counsel as soon as possible to discuss your options: the fact is that you probably won’t have any options after April 15.

While the exact class of persons who can file a claim in the bankruptcy is not yet defined, it is expected that those sexually assaulted by Diocese employees as an adult, as well as the estates of deceased victims, will be able to file claims.

The April 15 deadline is a strict filing deadline set by the Court and will not likely be extended by the Court for any reason.  Therefore, you should contact us immediately for a free and confidential consultation about your legal options as a survivor of abuse in the Syracuse Diocese.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Syracuse and throughout New York State.  The Diocese of Syracuse filed for federal bankruptcy protection in June 2020.  Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Syracuse may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines have been set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Syracuse will never be able to take against against the Diocese of Syracuse if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

New Orleans Archdiocese Horowitz Law

Judge Sets Final Filing Date in New Orleans Archdiocese Bankruptcy

A federal bankruptcy court judge has ordered all sexual abuse claims against the New Orleans Archdiocese to be filed no later than March 1, 2021.  The ruling comes after the Archdiocese previously sought a much shorter filing date, often referred to as a “bar date.”  The extended date will allow the Court to deal with other matters such as disputes between the Archdiocese and its insurance carriers about how much coverage exists, and to resolve challenges by victims’ lawyers that assets were fraudulently transferred to avoid becoming part of the bankruptcy estate.

Through our own investigation at Horowitz Law, we have identified at least 96 clergy who have been publicly accused of sexually abusing children in the New Orleans Archdiocese, a staggering number given the Catholic population of the area.

The March 1, 2021, date is referred to as a “bar date” by the Bankruptcy Court because the Archdiocese will be forever immune from suit in any sexual abuse claim not filed by that date.  Survivors will never again have any chance for accountability after March 1, so it is critically important that you contact a lawyer today if you were harmed by an employee or volunteer in the Archdiocese of New Orleans, including laypeople and teachers.  This also applies anyone sexually abused as an adult and the estates of deceased victims.

Our attorneys have decades of experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.  Contact us confidentially now.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of New Orleans.  The Archdiocese of New Orleans filed for federal bankruptcy protection in April 2020.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss your legal options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the New Orleans Archdiocese.  

Very strict filing deadlines have now been set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

 

Camden Diocese sex abuse

Camden Diocese Becomes First New Jersey Catholic Diocese to File for Chapter 11 Protection

On Thursday, October 1, the Diocese of Camden in New Jersey quietly filed a federal petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy seeking reorganization of their assets, the same day its counterpart in Rockville Centre (New York) did.  The move comes after the Diocese was hit with multiple sexual abuse lawsuits that the Diocese says it cannot afford to pay, even with insurance coverage.

The filing was announced in a letter written by Bishop Dennis Sullivan and released to the media on Thursday night.  According to the Bishop, the cost of the sexual abuse suits, combined with a loss of revenues due to COVID-19, makes it impossible to continue their business as usual.  In July, the Diocese it announced it was suspending its participation in a voluntary settlement fund established by the New Jersey Catholic Dioceses to resolve claims without the time and expense of litigation.

Last year, New Jersey lawmakers opened a 2 year “window” for survivors of sexual abuse to file lawsuits against the entities responsible, including the Diocese of Camden.

It is a common misconception that a Chapter 11 filing means an entity, like the Diocese of Camden, has run out of money, leaving sexual abuse claimants without any recourse.  But that is not true.  The claim is simply decided in an alternative process run by the federal bankruptcy court, rather than by a jury trial in a state court.  The amounts paid to survivors in a bankruptcy filing are often much less than in a traditional court case, however.

The Camden Diocese bankruptcy filing is not without its critics, and rightfully so.  Horowitz Law represents survivors of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Camden.  Attorney Adam Horowitz said, “Bankruptcy is the latest ploy by the Catholic Church to reduce its legal exposure for covering up clergy sexual abuse nationwide.  In a bankruptcy proceeding the Church can also conceal evidence of its neglect in the handling of sexually abusive priests.”

Another advantage to the Diocese is the right to be free of additional sexual abuse litigation indefinitely once the case closes.  Once a claims filing deadline has been set by the court, that will be the very last chance most survivors of clergy sexual abuse and exploitation will ever have to get some measure of accountability for what happened to them.  After that date passes, the Diocese will not be subject to liability for any additional claims that arose before the bankruptcy filing, even if other laws would otherwise a lawsuit to be filed, like a change in the statute of limitations.  So it is critically important that you not delay in contacting us today if you think you have a claim.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims on behalf of children who were sexually abused by clergy of all religious denominations, including Chapter 11 bankruptcy claims.  If you or someone you know was sexually abused by a clergy member or employee of the Diocese of Camden, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Rockville Centre Diocese sex abuse

Rockville Centre Becomes Latest NY Catholic Diocese to File Bankruptcy

On Thursday, October 1, the Diocese of Rockville Centre announced it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the fourth Catholic Diocese in New York to do so.  The move comes after the Diocese says it has more exposure in child sexual abuse lawsuits than the Diocese and its insurance companies can afford.

Bishop John Barres made the announcement by video, which comes about a month after the Diocese lost an appeal regarding New York’s Child Victims Act.  The Child Victims Act suspended the statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases for a limited time, meaning that those sexually abused by Rockville Centre’s priests and employees could file lawsuits against the Diocese for its role in their abuse.  According to the Bishop, more than 200 lawsuits have been filed against the Diocese of Rockville Centre in the almost 14 months that the window has been open.

The bishop said that parishes and schools would not be affected because they are separate legal entities, which is consistent with the bankruptcies filed by the Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse Dioceses earlier this year and for similar reasons.

It is a common misconception that a Chapter 11 filing means an entity, like the Diocese of Rockville Centre, has run out of money, leaving sexual abuse claimants without any recourse.  But that is not true.  The claim is simply decided in an alternative process run by the federal bankruptcy court, rather than by a jury trial in a state court.  The amounts paid to survivors in a bankruptcy filing are often much less than in a traditional court case, however.

The Rockville Centre Diocese bankruptcy filing is not without its critics, and rightfully so.  Horowitz Law represents survivors of sexual abuse by clergy of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.  Attorney Adam Horowitz said, “Bankruptcy is the latest ploy by the Catholic Church to reduce its legal exposure for covering up clergy sexual abuse nationwide.  In a bankruptcy proceeding the Church can also conceal evidence of its neglect in the handling of sexually abusive priests.”

Another advantage to the Diocese is the right to be free of additional sexual abuse litigation indefinitely once the case closes.  Once a claims filing deadline has been set by the court, that will be the very last chance most survivors of clergy sexual abuse and exploitation will ever have to get some measure of accountability for what happened to them.  After that date passes, the Diocese will not be subject to liability for any additional claims that arose before the bankruptcy filing, even if other laws would otherwise a lawsuit to be filed, like a change in the statute of limitations.  So it is critically important that you not delay in contacting us today.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims on behalf of children who were sexually abused by clergy of all religious denominations, including Chapter 11 bankruptcy claims.  If you or someone you know was sexually abused by a clergy member or employee of the Diocese of Rockville Centre, please contact our law firm at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Federal Court Sets Buffalo Diocese Bankruptcy Filing Date For Abuse Claims

On Friday, September 11, Judge Carl L. Bucki of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Western District of New York signed an Order granting survivors of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo until August 14, 2021, to file claims for compensation.

The August 14 date coincides with the expiration of the extended window created by the Child Victims Act, legislation that created a window of time for all survivors of child sexual abuse to file lawsuits against those responsible – including employers like the Diocese of Buffalo – no matter when the abuse occurred.  Previously, the overwhelming majority of claims had been barred by New York’s archaic statute of limitations.

Judge Bucki reasoned that the extended time period, which is slightly longer than in a traditional corporate bankruptcy, will allow the Diocese and its insurers to evaluate the entire picture of potential liability, and takes into account that it often takes survivors of childhood sexual abuse a long time to come forward.  Many do not come forward until the last minute, if at all, given the life-long effects of the trauma.

The Diocese has already sued eight of its insurance carriers in bankruptcy court to force a decision on whether they will provide coverage of claims.

Based upon our extended experience in these matters, we believe that the scale of sexual abuse and coverup in the Diocese of Buffalo rivals the scandals in much larger dioceses, like the Boston Archdiocese and Los Angeles Archdiocese, which serve exponentially more Catholics.  However, decisions by the Diocese of Buffalo’s leaders led to a much higher percentage of its parishioners being exposed to sexual predators.  Through our own investigation, we have identified at least 143 clergy who have been publicly accused of sexually abusing children in the Buffalo Diocese, an absolutely staggering number given the Catholic population of the area.

The August 14, 2021, date is referred to as a “bar date” by the Bankruptcy Court because the Diocese will be immune from suit in any claim not filed by that date.  Survivors will never again have any chance for accountability after August 14, so it is critically important that you contact a lawyer today if you were harmed by an employee or volunteer in the Diocese of Buffalo, including laypeople and teachers.  This also applies anyone sexually abused as an adult and the estates of deceased victims.

Our attorneys have decades of experience representing victims of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.  Contact us confidentially now.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Buffalo in New York.  The Diocese of Buffalo filed for bankruptcy protection in February 2020.  Our lawyers are now offering free legal consultations to discuss a potential lawsuit and your other options as a survivor of sexual abuse by priests and other employees of the Buffalo Diocese.  Very strict filing deadlines have been set by the Bankruptcy Court.  Most victims of abuse will never be able to recover damages if they miss this deadline, so please contact us to discuss your case today.    Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Fr. James C. Hayes – Syracuse Diocese

Father James C. Hayes

Diocese of Syracuse

Ordained: 1965

Removed: 2002 

Assigned as follows:

  • 1966 – 1967       St. Mary (Binghamton, NY) 
  • 1968 – 1969       Faculty House (Binghamton, NY)
  • 1970 – 1972       Unknown
  • 1973                  St. Louis (Oswego, NY)
  • 1974                  St. John the Evangelist (Oswego, NY)
  • 1974 – 1976       Oswego Catholic High School (Oswego, NY)
  • 1977                  Oswego City School District (Oswego , NY)
  • 1977 – 1978       Bishop Cunningham Catholic High School (Oswego, NY)
  • 1978 – 1984       St. Anne and St. John (North Bay, NY)
  • 1979 – 1981       Ecclesiastical Attorneys
  • 1984                  Diocesan Pastoral Council – Northern Region
  • 1984                  Priests’ Senate
  • 1985 – 1988       St. John the Baptist (Syracuse, NY)
  • 1989                  Diocesan Cabinet – Northern Region
  • 1989 – 1990       Board of Diocesan Consultors
  • 1989 – 1991       Holy Family (Fulton, NY)
  • 1992 – 2002       Community General Hospital (Syracuse, NY) 
  • 1993 – 2003       St. Michael (Onondaga Hill, NY) 
  • 1997 – 2003       Special assignment
  • 1998 – 2002       Our Lady of Good Counsel (Warners, NY)
  • 2003 – 2018       Unknown

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father James C. Hayes:

According to media reports, in June 2002, Father James C. Hayes was removed from his parish assignment as Community General Hospital Chaplain after allegations resurfaced about “inappropriate behavior” years previously, and after three victims filed lawsuits. He had been serving as a hospital chaplain since 1991.

One incident was first reported in 1990 and Father Hayes was sent to St. Luke’s for treatment. The Diocese of Syracuse confirmed that Father Hayes remained active after a person came forward about the abuse.

In 2003, the Diocese stated that Father Hayes had been permanently removed from ministry due to credible allegations of child sexual abuse.

Father Hays’ name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Syracuse’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, published in December 2018.  It released almost no information on the allegations against each priest, including age/gender of the victims, or the priest’s assignment at the time of the alleged abuse.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Syracuse in New York.  The Diocese of Syracuse filed for federal bankruptcy protection in June 2020.  Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Syracuse may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Syracuse will never be able to take any legal action if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Paul Worczak – Diocese of Ogdensburg

Father Paul Worczak

Diocese of Ogdensburg 

 

Ordained: 1968

Removed: 2003 

 

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1969-1970 St. Mary’s (Potsdam, NY)
  • 1971-1973 Holy Family (Watertown, NY)
  • 1974 St. Patrick (Chateaugay, NY)
  • 1975-1981 St. Thomas More (Canton, NY)
  • 1982-1989 St. Joseph (Massena, NY)
  • 1990 St. Lawrence the Martyr (Sayville, NY)
  • 1991-2004 St. Andrew’s (Norwood, NY)

 

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Paul Worczak:

In April of 2002, a man came forward with allegations of sexual abuse against Father Paul Worczak. The man alleged Fr. Worczak molested him when he was 11-years-old in 1971, at Holy Family in Watertown. The man also claimed that on top of being inappropriately touched by the priest, he also knew of other victims.

Bishop Barbarito kept Father Worczak in active ministry until March of 2003.

The Diocese of Ogdensburg offered to pay for counseling but refused to admit liability, saying that the statute of limitations had passed.

His name appears on the updated version of the Ogdensburg diocese list of priests with credible accusations against them as of November 13th, 2018.

 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg in New York.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused as a child in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. David Wisniewski – Diocese of Ogdensburg

Father David Wisniewski

Diocese of Ogdensburg 

 

Ordained: 1981

Removed: 2002

 

Assigned as Follows:

  • Sacred Heart Church (Massena, NY)
  • St. Peter’s Church (Lowville, NY)
  • St. Thomas Church (Greig, NY)
  • Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church (Redford, NY)
  • St. Bernard Church (Lyon Mountain, NY)
  • St. Mary’s Church (Glenfield, NY)
  • St. Hedwig’s Church (Houseville, NY)
  • Notre Dame Church (Malone, NY)

 

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father David Wisniewski:

In July of 2002, Father David Wisniewski and three other priests were removed from their assignments as a result of a zero tolerance policy from Dallas Bishops’ conference. He was working as an associate pastor for about two years at Notre Dame Church in Malone at the time.

The Diocese of Ogdensburg released a statement saying that all four priests had substantiated sexual abuse allegations against them. Furthermore, all four of the priests had also been through some form of therapy in the past for their “problems.” No other information has been released about the number of alleged victims or the time-frame of the alleged abuse.

It is known that Father Wisniewski was assigned to Notre Dame during the mid 1980’s. 

His name appears on the updated list of credibly accused priests by the Ogdensburg diocese as of November 13th, 2018.

 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg in New York.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused as a child in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. John Wiley – Diocese of Ogdensburg

Father John Wiley

Diocese of Ogdensburg 

 

Ordained: 1956

Died: 1984

 

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Wiley:

The Diocese of Ogdensburg released a list of 28 priests who were credibly accused of sexual misconduct with a minor or a vulnerable adult on November 13th, 2018. One priest that was first named publicly for sexual abuse of a minor by the list was Father John Wiley.

The Diocese of Ogdensburg did not include the number of alleged victims or the time frame that the alleged abuse occurred.

The only information given about Father Wiley was that he died in February of 1984. 

 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg in New York.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused as a child in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Clark White – Diocese of Ogdensburg

Father Clark White

Diocese of Ogdensburg 

Ordained: 1974

Removed: 2002

 

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1975-1976 St. Alexander (Morrisonville, NY)
  • 1977-1978 Holy Family (Watertown, NY)
  • 1979 Unknown
  • 1980-1983 St. Alphonsus (Tupper Lake, NY)
  • 1984-1985 St. Lawrence (Louisville, NY)
  • 1986-1991 On duty outside the Diocese (St. Martin de Porre, Peru)
  • 1992 Special Assignment
  • 1993 – 1995 St. Patrick Church (Brasher Falls, NY)
  • St. Patrick Church (Hogansburg, NY)
  • 1996 – 2002 St. Patrick Church (Brasher Falls, NY)
  • St. Lawrence Church (North Lawrence, NY)

 

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Clark White:

In July of 2002, Father Clark White and three other priests were removed from their assignments as a result of a zero tolerance policy from Dallas Bishops’ conference. Father White was working at St. Patrick’s Church in Brasher Falls at the time. 

The Diocese of Ogdensburg released a statement saying that all four priests had substantiated sexual abuse allegations against them. Furthermore, all four of the priests had also been through some form of therapy in the past for their “problems.”

No other information has been released about the number of alleged victims or the time-frame of the alleged abuse. Clark White appears on the updated list of credibly accused priests by the Ogdensburg diocese as of November 13th, 2018.

 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg in New York.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused as a child in New York State, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Ogdensburg now have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.  Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.