July 13, 2005

Court: Man Can't Sue Wis. Archdiocese


POSTED: 2:29 pm EDT July 13, 2005
UPDATED: 2:29 pm EDT July 13, 2005

MADISON, Wis. -- A man who claims he was abused by a priest in the 1960s cannot sue the Archdiocese of Milwaukee because there is no proof church leaders knew the priest was a child molester at the time, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The plaintiff, identified in court papers only as John Doe 67F, had accused the Roman Catholic archdiocese of negligence in its supervision of the Rev. George Nuedling, who died in 1994. He claimed church leaders moved him from parish to parish even though they knew he had abused children.

However, the court ruled there was no proof church leaders had reason to believe Nuedling was abusing children from 1960 to 1962, when Doe claims he was abused.

Since the justices ruled the suit could not continue, they refused to review their 1995 decision giving religious organizations immunity from civil suits over their hiring practices.

Though the court was unanimous in dismissing the suit, three justices said they believed the 1995 decision should be reversed to allow such suits in the future.

Posted by kshaw at July 13, 2005 04:40 PM