May 06, 2005

Subiaco Lawsuit Tossed

ARKANSAS
The Times Record

By John Lyon
Thursday, May 5, 2005 10:04 AM CDT

times record jlyon@swtimes.com

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a former Subiaco Academy student who said he was sexually abused by a priest at the school in the 1970s.

U.S. District Judge Robert T. Dawson ruled that Joffre J. Miller's suit against Subiaco Academy and the Rev. Nicholas Fuhrmann is barred by the statute of limitations, which expired in 1983. Dawson dismissed the case with prejudice.

Miller, who now lives in Texas, alleged that Fuhrmann molested him from 1976-79, while Fuhrmann was his teacher and boxing coach. His attorney, Lori Watson, filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Fort Smith in February.

Arkansas law states that a person who is entitled to civil action because of events occurring while he or she was a minor may bring the action within three years of turning 18. Miller turned 18 in 1980.

Watson argued that the statute of limitations had not expired for Miller because of a state law enacted in 1993 that allows a civil suit to be filed up to three years after the discovery of sexual abuse or the discovery of the effect of the abuse. Miller's suit claimed that he discovered the effect of the alleged abuse within the last three years.

Posted by kshaw at May 6, 2005 05:54 AM