As of 2023, there are no statutes of limitations in Maryland on civil cases against clergy members who committed sexual abuse or institutions that allowed this type of harm to occur. Many sexual abuse survivors in Baltimore and other parts of Maryland can now sue the perpetrator of abuse or organizations that failed to protect them, regardless of how long ago the abuse occurred.
If you believe you have a case based on your experiences with the Catholic Church, a school, or another facility run by a church or archdiocese, contact us today. Our Maryland clergy sexual abuse lawyer represent survivors statewide. We provide free, confidential case consultations.
There Is No Deadline for Filing a Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawsuit in Baltimore
As of October 1, 2023, there is no deadline for suing based on childhood clergy sexual abuse in Maryland. State lawmakers passed The Child Victims Act of 2023 in the spring of 2023, eliminating the deadline for adults who endured childhood sexual abuse from clergy members.
The new law allows them to file civil lawsuits against their abusers and hold the responsible institutions accountable regardless of when the abuse occurred. This could mean survivors harmed by the church decades ago can get justice and protect other children from abuse.
Before the passage of this law, adults who endured childhood sexual abuse in Maryland had, at most, until their 38th birthday to sue.
Who Is Eligible to Sue for Clergy Sexual Abuse?
One of the most important aspects of The Child Victims Act of 2023 is that the new laws apply retroactively. This means survivors may be able to sue and hold the Archdiocese of Baltimore or other institutions accountable regardless of when their abuse occurred. This is true even if they previously ran out of time to sue.
There are exceptions to this rule, primarily for those who have already filed a civil action for abuse. An attorney familiar with Baltimore clergy abuse cases can assess your case and determine your legal options. Our legal team provides free consultations.
For a free legal consultation, call,
What Other Changes Occurred With the Passage of the Child Victims Act of 2023?
In addition to eliminating the statute of limitations, The Child Victims Act of 2023 made several other significant changes to how laws apply to clergy sexual abuse cases. This includes:
Making It Easier to Hold an Institution or Organization Accountable
Based on The Child Victims Act of 2023, survivors can pursue a case against the perpetrator of the abuse and the institution that allowed it to occur. All too often, there is evidence that church leadership or even the archdiocese was aware of abuse allegations and failed to act.
Parents trusted these institutions to protect their children and teenagers from abuse, and they failed to do so. Survivors can now hold them accountable without showing they had direct knowledge of the abuse.
Increasing the Caps on Recoverable Damages
The Child Victims Act of 2023 also increases or eliminates the caps on recoverable damages in many categories. This includes:
- Eliminating the cap on economic damages recoverable from private institutions
- Raising the cap on emotional distress from private institutions to $1.5 million per case
- Raising the cap to $890,000 per case when government agencies are liable
How Common Is Clergy Sexual Abuse in Baltimore?
Clergy sexual abuse occurs more often than anyone would like to believe. In 2023, the Maryland Office of the Attorney General released a report on child sex abuse allegations within the Archdiocese of Baltimore. This four-year study identified 156 clergy members, nuns, and Catholic school teachers as abusers. They interviewed more than 300 victims and identified at least 600. Authorities believe many more victims are likely unidentified.
If you believe you experienced abuse as a child in Baltimore, you can explore the list of credibly accused clergy members or discuss your legal options with our compassionate team. We provide free, confidential consultations for survivors.
Click to contact our personal injury lawyers today
What Are My Options as a Survivor of Clergy Sexual Abuse in Maryland?
If you are a survivor of clergy sexual abuse in Maryland, you may pursue justice by holding the at-fault parties accountable and seeking fair compensation based on your losses. Our personal injury lawyers can build your case against the Archdiocese of Baltimore and other parties.
We may recover compensation for you that includes:
- Past and present medical bills, such as covering the cost of therapy and mental health support
- Past and present income losses and/or reduced ability to earn if your mental health affects your career
- Past and present emotional distress, sometimes called “pain and suffering”
We understand how challenging it can be to discuss the abuse you endured. Our compassionate team members want to make this process as easy as possible. We will answer your questions and guide you through this process. You can continue beyond your initial conversation with our team when you feel comfortable.
While there are no deadlines for suing for damages, you may want to discuss your options for filing a personal injury lawsuit with our team as soon as possible for several reasons. This includes the recent bankruptcy filing by the Archdiocese of Baltimore, which could affect your case.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
Discuss Your Case With Our Clergy Sexual Abuse Team for Free Today
Jenner Law represents adults who suffered childhood abuse while in the care of clergy members and others with the Archdiocese in Baltimore. We offer legal counsel during a free consultation. You can discuss your case with our team with no obligation and learn about the statutes of limitations for clergy sexual abuse cases.
These case assessments are confidential, and we handle these cases on a contingency fee basis. You do not have to pay us up front for us to work on your case. Contact us online or via telephone to get started today.