Bankruptcy Court Denies Diocese of Rochester’s Attempt to Stop Survivors’ Lawsuits

“That’s a pretty heavy-handed threat to be leveled at the people who are the real victims here – the Abuse Survivors.” – Judge Paul Warren wrote regarding the diocese’s threat to file a non-consensual plan 

Court issues order allowing survivors to move forward with 475 claims against parishes  

(Rochester, NY) – Today in the Western District of New York Bankruptcy Court, the Diocese of Rochester’s request to continue to silence survivors by preventing them from pursuing their cases against non-bankrupt entities was denied. 

 Attorneys and advocates will hold a virtual press conference today at 4:00PM CT/5:00PM ET to discuss: 

  1. The Diocese’s underhanded efforts to cram down a settlement that will eventually be part of a bankruptcy reorganization plan, without input from the survivors; 
  2. Today’s decision by the bankruptcy court allowing survivors to pursue their cases against non-debtor entities in the Diocese of Rochester. 

“The tide has shifted. Today’s decision by Judge Warren frees survivors to pursue their claims and shuts down the Bishop’s attempts to stop them, silence them, and shield predators,” said attorney Jeff Anderson who represents 175 abuse survivors along with co-counsel Steve Boyd.  

 As the bankruptcy court stated: 

 “The Abuse Survivors have been silenced, in many cases, for decades. The CVA window gave them a right to be heard. Instead, the Abuse Survivors agreed to refrain from pursuing their CVA claims against the independent Catholic Corporations in hopes that the Diocese’s Chapter 11 case might provide an adequate measure of justice. After nearly 3 years, the Abuse Survivors have indicated their desire to seek redress from non-debtor corporations. In response, the Diocese has requested that the Court enjoin the Abuse Survivors, while also announcing an intention to seek confirmation of a Chapter 11 plan over the objection of the Abuse Survivors. After decades of silence, that might strike the abuse survivors as ironic.”