Tag: bankruptcy

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.

bankruptcy diocese horowitz law

Dioceses. Boy Scouts. USA Gymnastics: The Real Reason They’re Crying “BANKRUPTCY”

Increasingly, venerable institutions like the Boy Scouts, the USA Gymnastics and Catholic dioceses say they are going into bankruptcy because of child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits.

So maybe it’s time to re-think those suits and the laws that enable them?

To put it bluntly, that’s a crazy idea. Bear with us as we explain.

For starters, let’s look more closely at why big non-profits like this sometimes seek Chapter 11 protection.

Are they being “forced to” (as some headline writers suggest)? Or are they doing so for selfish reasons?

Our bet is the latter.

Most who declare bankruptcy do so because it’s undeniable that their expenses have and may continue to rise. Why? Because they’ve been and sometimes still are short-sighted and selfish regarding abuse.

But look at these crystal-clear facts about the hierarchies of these institutions..

–Most of the costs of these lawsuits are covered by insurance. In other words, these institutions have ALREADY paid out because of abuse, on the front end.

(USA Today last week reported “The Boy Scouts expect insurance will cover ‘a substantial portion’ of the money owed to victims, according to a court filing.)

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/boy-scouts-bankruptcy-what-we-know-about-victims-assets-and-the-future-of-scouting/ar-BB1085YS?ocid=se2

–Every day, Scouting and church officials are still bringing in dollars (donations, bequeaths, rents, investments).

–There’s no solid way to predict whether that income will go up or down. (Many organizations end up stronger if they deal with abuse scandals well.)

–There’s no real way to predict how many victims will sue.

–And there’s no way to predict how those lawsuits will turn out.

–When some bishops have faced abuse litigation, they’ve boosted their income by selling property, getting loans or taking similar steps.

So one must ask: are these institutions seeking Chapter 11 status because they HAVE TO or because they WANT TO.

Again, we strongly suspect the latter.

Some find this notion hard to believe. “Bankruptcy is embarrassing and time-consuming,” they say.

It may be. But consider the alternative.

A bankruptcy filing stops litigation. No more documents turned over to victims’ or their attorneys. No more depositions. No testimony in open court that reveals how much officials knew about abuse and how little they did to stop abuse. No more tough questions under oath. No more having to face a deeply wounded victim or victims across a conference room table or in a courthouse.

That’s what is BEYOND embarrassing for those who suspected but hid or ignored heinous crimes against kids. THAT’S what they’re really afraid of and worried about.

Others claim “Bankruptcy means you have to turn over your files and finances for a judge to examine, and who’d want to do that?”

Again, that may be true. But bankruptcy judges look at files about assets, not abuse. Bankruptcy court shifts the focus entirely, away from “Who hid crimes?” and toward “Who gets money?”

So keep in mind that we all have choices, especially the CEOs and CFOs and bishops and other honchos who have big salaries and impressive titles AND who enabled predators to hurt kids.

They can choose to safeguard their careers and reputations, and hide behind the protections offered by Chapter 11.

Or they can choose to safeguard the innocent, help the wounded and let the truth come out in court.

Don’t believe them when they claim “We have no choice but to declare bankruptcy.. . .”

Rochester diocese sex abuse

Final Filing Date Set in Rochester Diocese Bankruptcy Proceedings

This week, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court set the final deadline for the filing of all claims of sexual abuse in the Rochester Diocese.  By August 13, 2020, anyone who is eligible to file a claim of sexual abuse in the bankruptcy court must do so.  The deadline is also referred to as a “bar date” because anyone failing to make a claim will likely be barred from ever taking legal action against the Diocese of Rochester ever again.  If you were hurt by an employee of the Diocese of Rochester in New York, contact us today.

Anyone who was sexually abused or assaulted by an employee of the Diocese, such as a priest, teacher, coach, youth minister, and even certain religious brothers and nuns, is eligible to file a confidential claim in this process.  Almost anyone sexually abused as a child is eligible to participate, as well those who were already adults at the time of their assault, and the estates of deceased victims.

Filing a claim in bankruptcy court is not the same as filing a lawsuit against the Diocese.  The process is typically much faster, and does not involve the rigors of litigation.  You do not have to give a deposition or attend trial.  Instead, your claim is typically decided by providing information in a lengthy but fairly straight-forward written questionnaire. Any information that you provide to the bankruptcy trustee is kept confidential by order of the Bankruptcy Court and is never made public record.

Our attorneys are experienced at handling bankruptcy claims across the U.S.  Please contact us today to discuss your legal options.  You must take legal action before August 13, 2020, or your claim against the Diocese of Rochester will likely be barred forever.  DO NOT DELAY IN CONTACTING US TODAY.

Through our own investigation, we have identified nearly 50 priests and employees who have been accused of molesting kids in the Diocese of Rochester.

The accused perpetrators we have identified so far are:

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Rochester.  The Diocese of Rochester in New York filed for bankruptcy protection in 2019.  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 Rochester Diocese.  

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.

Diocese of Harrisburg logo - Horowitz Law

Diocese of Harrisburg Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Childhood Sexual Abuse claims will likely be considered and settled as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.

On Wednesday, the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg in Pennsylvania became the latest Catholic entity to seek federal bankruptcy protection due, in large part, to the potential cost of sexual abuse claims against it.  Since 2004, more than 20 Catholic dioceses and religious orders have sought bankruptcy protection for the same reason.

As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, generally all unsettled claims of sexual abuse are considered by the Court and, usually, settled with monetary payments to the survivors.  For example, the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings in Montana agreed to settle 86 claims of sexual abuse for $20 million as part of its bankruptcy re-organization.  We expect that the Diocese of Harrisburg bankruptcy proceedings will include a similar process for reviewing claims of sexual abuse.

Catholic dioceses like the Diocese of Harrisburg often seek bankruptcy protection as a way of controlling the costs of sexual abuse litigation.  As part of the proceedings, the bankruptcy court will set a strict filing date by which all claims of child sexual abuse must be filed.  If a survivor of abuse fails to file a claim by that date, they may never be able to file a lawsuit or claim against the Diocese in the future.

Pennsylvania legislators have been considering changing the statute of limitations for child sexual abuse in order to allow the hundreds sexually abused by Pennsylvania’s priests to file lawsuits even if the statute of limitations has already expired on their case.  If that law becomes a reality, survivors of abuse in Harrisburg will probably not be able to file such lawsuits due to the recent bankruptcy filing, so it is critically important that you contact us today to discuss your options.  Once the bankruptcy claims filing date passes, that could serve to lock out survivors of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg forever.

Horowitz Law’s managing partner, Adam Horowitz, was recently asked about the Diocese of Harrisburg’s bankruptcy by the New York Times:  “Adam D. Horowitz, a Florida lawyer who represents eight sexual abuse survivors who plan to bring claims against the Harrisburg Diocese in bankruptcy court, said his clients were concerned. ‘It is my clients’ hope that the Diocese of Harrisburg is not playing a shell game with their assets,’ he said. ‘Hiding assets revictimizes sexual abuse victims seeking civil justice.'”

The lawyers at Horowitz Law are experienced at helping survivors of sexual abuse navigate the bankruptcy process nationwide.  Contact us to discuss your options today.

For more information on the Diocese of Harrisburg, including a list of 55 priests accused of sexual abuse that we have identified, click here.

 

 

Archdiocese of Santa Fe Horowitz Law

June 17 Deadline to File Claims Against Santa Fe Archdiocese Rapidly Approaching.

The June 17 deadline for survivors of sexual abuse to file claims against the Archdiocese of Santa Fe is rapidly approaching.  The Archdiocese, which recently filed for bankruptcy protections, is expected to be hit with more than 200 claims from sexual abuse survivors, according to some media reports.

The Archdiocese of Santa Fe has released the names of more than six dozen priests it says have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

The bankruptcy court has ordered that all claims by survivors of sexual abuse be filed by June 17 at 5:00 p.m. Anyone sexually abused by a clergy member, lay employee, or volunteer affiliated with the Archdiocese of Santa Fe must file their claim by the court-ordered deadline of June 17.  After that, most survivors of sexual abuse in the Santa Fe Archdiocese will likely be barred from recovering for their abuse and injuries forever.

Our attorneys have decades of experience handling cases in New Mexico and nationwide.  If you or someone you know has been sexually abused in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, please contact us immediately to discuss your legal options.  You can reach us at (954) 641-2100 (or toll-free at (855) 283-9922), or by email at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.