Diocese of Buffalo Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy: A Message to Abuse Survivors from Attorney Stacey Benson

I’m Stacey Benson. I’m an attorney with Jeff Anderson & Associates. Together, with the law offices of Steve Boyd we represent hundreds of survivors of sexual abuse in Western New York. Today the Diocese of Buffalo filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. We are very disappointed in this announcement today, not only does it prevent the excavation of important information that‘s been held secret for decades, it keeps survivors of sexual abuse from having their day in court. This legal tactic is an attempt by the diocese to hide important information that survivors have been trying to obtain for decades – this information includes what the diocese knew and when they knew it.

The decision by the diocese to file bankruptcy undermines the spirit and the intent of the New York Child Victims Act. That law was passed to allow survivors of child sexual abuse to have their day in court. We, along with the courage and strength of so many child sexual abuse survivors still intend to expose the dangerous practices employed by Bishop Malone and his predecessors which protected predator priests at the expense of protecting kids.
Just because the diocese has filed for bankruptcy does not mean that survivors of sexual abuse do not have legal rights. YOU STILL HAVE LEGAL RIGHTS. You can still come forward and you can take legal action. Just remember the Bankruptcy Court will set a deadline – when that deadline is set all survivors must come forward (publicly or anonymously) to file their claim in court.

If you are a survivor of child sexual abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Buffalo, we want to help.  We assure you this fight is not over.