Attorneys Expand Lawsuit Seeking Abuse Information From PA Dioceses

Feb 10, 2020

A lawsuit seeking to make Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic dioceses disclose information on predatory priests is getting bigger. 

Plaintiffs say they think the dioceses aren’t complying with the commonwealth’s mandatory reporting laws, and that’s putting children in danger.

Originally, the suit only included abuse survivors and other plaintiffs from the Pittsburgh diocese.

But last month, Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Christine Ward said while she would let the case proceed in Pittsburgh, she would dismiss it in the other seven dioceses unless attorneys added plaintiffs from those areas.

Ward gave the attorneys 30 days.

Now, they say plaintiffs from the Philadelphia, Altoona-Johnstown, Greensburg and Harrisburg dioceses are on board with the suit, and they may add others from the last three—Erie, Scranton and Allentown.

The suit is one of many inspired by 2018’s grand jury report that alleged more than 300 Pennsylvania clergy abused children for decades.

It asks dioceses to publicly release all the information they gave the grand jury, among other things.