July 23, 2005

Class action sought in orphanage lawsuit

The Courier-Journal

By Gregory A. Hall
The Courier-Journal

Class-action status is being sought for a lawsuit filed by about 50 people who allege they were abused as children while living at Roman Catholic orphanages in Jefferson County.

In a filing in Jefferson Circuit Court, attorney William McMurry said he's seeking to expand the suit because he and his plaintiffs believe there are at least several hundred other victims.

Judge Denise Clayton will consider the request at a hearing Monday.

A class-action designation would allow victims to make a claim without being publicly identified, as they would be if they filed their own suit. It also would lead to advertising that would notify former orphanage residents -- who may live across the country and not know of the litigation -- of their rights, McMurry said.

McMurry, working with attorney Ann Oldfather, represented 243 plaintiffs who settled with the Archdiocese of Louisville for $25.7 million in 2003 over sexual abuse by parish priests and others.

Posted by kshaw at July 23, 2005 07:16 AM