July 08, 2005

Court reverses itself, decides to hear priest abuse case


July 8, 2005, 12:08 PM EDT

UTICA, N.Y. -- The state's highest court has reversed itself and will review a lower court's dismissal of a $150 million lawsuit brought by a man who claims he was sexually abused by a prominent Roman Catholic priest as a young boy during the 1960s.

John Zumpano's civil lawsuit against the Rev. James Quinn was dismissed in November 2003 by a state Supreme Court judge, who ruled too many years had passed to pursue the allegations. The dismissal was upheld in December by a state appellate court. In May, the Court of Appeals said it would not consider Zumpano's case.

But Wednesday, the high court decided it will review the dismissal to determine if it should be upheld or reversed.

Zumpano claims he was sexually abused by Quinn from 1963 to 1970 while a student at St. Agnes Church's grammar school and Notre Dame High School, both in Utica. The lawsuit also named the Catholic Diocese of Syracuse as a defendant, contending that church leaders were aware of the abuse and did nothing.

Posted by kshaw at July 8, 2005 12:12 PM