Christian Brothers Sexual Abuse Lawsuit Bankrupts Religious Order

The sexual abuse scandal that took place within the Congregation of Christian Brothers has brought to light the volatile situation plaguing the youth of our nation. The Roman Catholic religious order, who currently runs Seattle’s O’Dea High School and several more in the corresponding county, has been accused of harboring sexual predators. Subsequently, many men allege that they were sexually abused by members of the Christian Brothers while attending schools in the Northwest. The influx of accusations, combined with several lofty settlements, has caused the organization to file for bankruptcy.

The congregation of Christian Brothers, otherwise known as the Irish Christian Brothers, is a worldwide religious congregation within ties to the Roman Catholic Church. Subsequently, the Christian Brothers main priority is that of providing young children with divine evangelization and education. Through an already establish network of schools and orphanages, members of this religious organization provide the youth of America with a means to learn about their order and common curriculum. The Christian brothers have been operating in such communities since 1802, when they opened their first school in Waterford, Ireland.

Over the past decade, several allegations regarding child sexual abuse and the Congregation of Christian Brothers have plagued the Roman Catholic church. Accordingly, most of the allegations stem from institutions located in the Northwestern part of the United States. The Briscoe Memorial School, which was an orphanage and boarding school located near Seattle, was the location of a dozen alleged sexual assaults. From 1909 to 1970, Briscoe was considered a safe home for several thousands of children. However, the school was owned by the Seattle Catholic Archdiocese and was jointly operated by the Archdiocese and the Christian Brothers. The members of which committed lewd and salacious acts with unsuspecting children.

Recent years have witnessed dozens of men claim that they were sexually and/or physically abused while attending Briscoe Memorial School. Subsequent allegations suggest that teachers beat them with leather straps or fists. Severe circumstances described included the forceful use of wooden paddles while the children were naked in the shower. They also told of boys being taken from their beds at night by teachers, of being accosted in bathrooms, of being forced to engage in oral sex.

“Most of the abuses occurred with the most vulnerable children who had nowhere to turn and no one to tell,” said representatives of the children. Approximately 50 children involved in the Christian Brothers sexual abuse lawsuit were awarded a settlement. The cases settled for $25.6 million.

Some 40 years after they attended Briscoe Memorial School in Kent, 13 men who said they were abused as students there reportedly reached a $7 million settlement with the Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese, which owned the school, and the Congregation of Christian Brothers, which operated it.

Due to the influx of child sexual abuse allegations, the Christian Brothers were forced into mediation as a means of settlement. Subsequently, the religious order was forced to file bankruptcy, making it the second Catholic order in the U.S. to do so because of sexual-abuse claims.

We Can Help – Christian Brothers Sexual Abuse Lawsuit

There are over 39 million survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the United States today. One out of every four girls and one out of every six boys experience some form of sexual abuse before the age of 18. And, one out of every five children will be solicited for sexual abuse on the internet. In most cases, the victims of childhood sexual abuse do not report the abuse at all or don’t report it until many years after the abuse happens.

While there are many legal barriers to prosecuting the sexual predators that inflict this abuse, our lawyers have worked to overcome those barriers in the Legislature and in the courts. Senator Martha Escutia (Ret.) and Senator Joseph Dunn (Ret.) were heavily involved in passing California legislation that significantly increased the time for victims of abuse to sue their sexual predators and those that employed the sexual predators. This new legislation allowed literally thousands of victims of childhood sexual abuse to file lawsuits (and receive significant recoveries) that were otherwise barred by the former statute of limitations.

The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, has further committed itself to protecting victims of childhood sexual abuse by relentlessly pursuing sexual predators in court. The Firm is actively involved in representing clients who have been abused by predators in a variety of settings, including churches, youth organizations, schools, and in the home. If you or someone close to you has been sexually abused, The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP, can provide experienced, effective, and compassionate representation to ensure that your rights to compensation are fully protected.