Sunday, October 31, 2010

Delaware case suspended
Clergy abuse in Delaware: Child Victims Act case postponed until Dec. 15
The News Journal • October 13, 2010
Delaware Supreme Court case set to test the constitutionality of the Delaware Child Victims Act has been postponed until Dec. 15.
Oral arguments in the case of James Sheehan v. Oblates of St. Francis de Sales had been scheduled for this afternoon, but on Tuesday court officials announced the case had been pushed back two months.
No explanation was offered for the change.
Sheehan charged in his lawsuit -- filed under the Delaware Child Victims Act -- that in 1962 when he was a student at Salesianum high school, which is operated by the Oblates, he was abused by a priest on the faculty.
After a Superior Court trial in 2009, a jury found the Oblates were liable under the law, but also ruled that the actions of the Oblates were not the proximate cause of harm to Sheehan.
Both sides appealed the decision.
The Delaware Child Victims Act of 2007 suspended the statute of limitations in sex abuse cases for two years, allowing child victims of sexual abuse to file civil claims seeking damages for abuse that took place years or decades ago.
The Sheehan case was the first lawsuit filed under the act to make it to trial.

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