November 18, 2005

Largest Individual Judgment in Sex Abuse Case Nets Florida Man $10.9 Million Judgment


BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A 47-year-old Florida man,
Michael J. Powel, won a $10.9 million dollar judgment in Connecticut Superior
Court against a former maintenance worker for the Roman Catholic Diocese of
Bridgeport, Carlo D. Fabbozzi. The jury agreed Fabbozzi repeatedly molested
Powel between the ages of 9 and 13. Fabbozzi, now 78, was in his mid-40s at
the time. The abuse took place in the late 60s and early 1970s on church
Powel repressed his painful memories of the abuse by Fabbozzi until year
2000, only to regain them while recuperating from removal of a life
threatening malignant brain tumor. More than 68 scientific studies support
the existence of full or partial repression, otherwise known as dissociative
amnesia, following trauma like childhood sexual abuse.
Powel's account of the molestations was corroborated by the testimony of
two other male victims. After initially defending the claims and invoking the
Fifth Amendment privilege of self-incrimination as to his involvement in child
molestations, Fabbozzi failed to appear at trial electing not to contest the
claims. In July, 2000 a jury of four men and two women, four of whom were
Roman Catholic, returned a verdict of $5 million dollars ($2 million economic,
$3 million non-economic damages) and authorized the award of punitive damages.
With the punitive damages, interest and costs assessed by Judge Edward F.
Stodolink, the judgment totals $10,937,538.80.

Posted by kshaw at November 18, 2005 12:26 PM