March 08, 2006

Miss. Appeals Court hears appeal in lawsuit against Catholic diocese

Sun Herald

Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. - An attorney for the Jackson Catholic Diocese has argued that a woman waited too long to file a lawsuit over allegations of sexual abuse by a priest and an appeals court should uphold the dismissal of her claims.
The state Court of Appeals heard arguments Tuesday involving the case of Angie Phillips, who claimed in her lawsuit that she was sexually abused by Priest Thomas Boyce and another priest in the 1970s. In 2003, the Catholic Diocese of Jackson acknowledged the abuse by Boyce, who died in 2002. Phillips sued the diocese.
Her lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice, meaning it couldn't be refiled, in 2004 by Hinds County Circuit Judge W. Swan Yerger. Yerger said Phillips waited too late to file the lawsuit and the statute of limitations had run its course.
Phillips' attorney, Hiawatha Northington II of Jackson, said Tuesday the trial judge failed to consider affidavits from a psychologist and others that the mental trauma Phillips suffered prevented her from understanding the gravity of the acts committed by the priest.

Posted by kshaw at March 8, 2006 10:25 AM