Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore Sexual Abuse
This legislation is all the more urgent given the recent release of the Maryland Attorney General’s investigation into the Archdiocese of Baltimore. For more than 80 years, over 600 people were subject to sexual abuse by clergy of the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore across Maryland. For the past four years, the Attorney General of Maryland has been investigating and has finalized a report on these findings, including identifying 158 priests as attackers, including 115 priests who had previously been prosecuted or publicly identified by the church as “credibly accused.” These abusers targeted children of preschool age through teens. The church initially cooperated with the investigation but later paid for lawyers for people who sought to keep pieces of the report secret to avoid being held accountable.
For years, many survivors of this abuse have fought to make their stories heard, put an end to the abuse, and finally hold these dangerous abusers accountable. Unfortunately, by keeping the abuse in the dark, the archdiocese has been able to avoid justice using the statute of limitations.
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- Church sex abuse report gives voice to survivors: ‘I just want the darkness ... to finally come to light’
- Maryland Gov. Wes Moore makes minimum wage increase, tax credits, Child Victims Act first bills signed into law
Maryland’s Child Victims Act
The Child Victim’s Act of 2023 was signed into law April 11, 2023 and allows any living victim of child sex abuse bring a lawsuit against their abuser, erasing a previous threshold that would prevent anyone older than 38 from a lawsuit forward for childhood sexual abuse. The Child Victim’s Act of 2023 eliminates statute of limitations in child sexual abuse cases in Maryland and allows survivors to file a lawsuit arising from allegations of child sexual abuse at any time.
The Child Victim’s Act now makes Maryland one of 23 states that allow victims to resurrect old claims that were previously barred by statutes of limitations. The Child Victim’s Act opens up the possibility for childhood sexual abuse survivors to finally seek justice for the abuse they suffered, regardless of their age or when the abuse occurred.
How we can support Survivors of Clergy Abuse
At BMBFC, we understand the devastating impact that sexual abuse and misconduct can have on survivors. Our team of compassionate attorneys is committed to helping survivors of abuse by members of the clergy seek justice and obtain the compensation they deserve.
For decades, BMBFC attorneys have represented survivors of sexual abuse. In 2009, a team led by partners Chase Brockstedt and Phil Federico obtained a $123 million settlement for sexual abuse victims of Delaware pediatrician Earl Bradley.
Our attorney’s also lead the fight for survivors against Johns Hopkins gynecologist Dr. Nikita Levy. The 25-year doctor had been surreptitiously photographing and/or videoing patients in compromising situations. BMBFC attorneys worked to hold the major organization these survivors trusted accountable for their failures to protect them, earning a $190 million settlement and protecting these survivors by ensuring that this sexually abusive content would never be made public. Our commitment was to protect survivors from facing any further psychological harm from this abuse.
One person can make a difference. One lone voice is powerful. And these cases always start with one person having the courage to come forward. However, we also understand how effective it is to have a single story told by many voices. At BMBFC, we listen, guide and lead our clients through these cases never losing sight of the benefit we were hired to achieve.
We recognize that sexual abuse cases can be complex and emotional. That’s why our experienced attorneys are dedicated to providing personalized attention to each client, helping them navigate the legal process with empathy and care.
Our team has a deep understanding of the legal issues involved in sexual abuse cases and has successfully represented many survivors of sexual abuse. We know how to hold those responsible accountable and will aggressively fight for your rights.
We are working closely alongside attorneys at Jenner Law who also bring deep experience representing survivors of sexual abuse and have an experienced team of trauma-informed staff to help support our clients.
If you or a loved one has suffered from sexual abuse in the Maryland Archdiocese, don’t wait to seek justice; your information will always remain completely confidential. Our lawyers are prepared to hold the Church accountable to the fullest extent of the law and help our clients move forward.
SURVIVOR & ADVOCATE STORIES
An Advocate for Survivors
Mary Beth Diaz:
Family Member of Survivor
Chase Brockstedt is the lead partner in the firm’s injury litigation department. He has dedicated his career to representing individuals who have been injured through no fault of their own and are seeking fair compensation. Chase has substantial experience in navigating the complicated world of insurance to ensure that his client’s medical bills and lost wages are paid on time and to recover damages for pain, suffering and permanent injuries.
Learn more about Chase Brockstedt.
Phil Federico specializes in mass tort/class action lawsuits and environmental law. He has been involved in historic and groundbreaking litigation with verdicts and settlements totaling hundreds of millions of dollars. Phil also has extensive experience in personal injury, sexual abuse and misconduct, and healthcare.
Learn more about Phil Federico.
Brian V. DeMott
Over the years, Brian DeMott has researched complex civil and criminal issues ranging from employment discrimination to post-conviction relief. As a Leadership Delaware Fellow, Mr. DeMott has gone through an intensive, year-long course in which he learned about issues facing the First State.
Learn more about Brian DeMott.
Brent Ceryes is a partner at BMBFC and has experience in environmental law personal injury, sexual abuse and misconduct, and healthcare litigation. He served as counsel in the firm’s $123 million class action settlement in the Earl Bradley pedophile pediatrician case, and in the firm’s $190 million class action settlement with The Johns Hopkins Hospital arising out of the conduct of Nikita Levy, M.D., an obstetrician gynecologist who surreptitiously videotaped his patients during gynecologic examinations.
Learn more about Brent Ceryes.
CATHERINE M. CRAMER
Catherine is an experienced and accomplished litigator with a passion for helping others. Catherine is part of the firm’s Mass Tort & Environmental Litigation team and has assisted clients in class action litigation in obtaining favorable results to improve environmental conditions and health hazards in their communities as well as substantial compensation.
Learn more about Catherine M. Cramer.
Thomas P. Barnett
Thomas Barnett is an associate in the Business Law and Litigation departments. He represents businesses at all stages to achieve favorable outcomes whether it is formation, litigation, restructuring, or dissolution.
Learn more about Thomas P. Barnett.
MATTHEW P. LEGG
Matt assists in representing clients in a variety of mass tort and class action matters. He is currently involved in cases regarding individuals exposed to potential bloodborne pathogens in an ambulatory surgery center, dozens of public entities in litigation against opioid manufacturers and distributors, and numerous school boards in lawsuits against vaping company JUUL.
Learn more about Matthew P. Legg.
Elizabeth “Beth” Graham is a principal at Grant & Eisenhofer. Ms. Graham has spent most of her career as a plaintiffs’ lawyer advocating for the rights of individuals and families harmed by large organizations. Ms. Graham also represents survivors of sexual assault and sexual harassment that occurred in the workplace or by a trusted professional. Ms. Graham’s expertise spans the practice areas of mass tort, consumer fraud, product liability, environmental, business torts, and gender rights claims.
Learn more about Elizabeth Graham.
Robert K. Jenner
Robert K. “Rob” Jenner founded Jenner Law, P.C. in 2018, focusing his practice on helping people and families affected by the harmful conduct of others. With more than 35 years of experience, his practice focuses on cases involving personal injury, mass torts, therapy abuse, and clergy sexual abuse. What he enjoys most about being a lawyer is continuing his family legacy of social activism and fighting for social justice by representing the underdog – against large, well-funded institutions.
Learn more about Robert K. Jenner.
Kathleen “Katie” Kerner became a Partner with Jenner Law, P.C. in 2021. Prior to that time, she served as the firm’s Senior Associate Attorney. Katie focuses her practice on personal injury litigation, including dangerous drugs, defective medical devices, and sexual abuse claims. Katie has worked in the legal industry for more than 10 years. She always wanted to be a lawyer, which stems from her desire to right wrongs and use her training and skills to help people and make the world safer and better. She has a true passion for helping injury victims and survivors of sexual abuse who are not able to obtain meaningful justice without legal counsel and finds it rewarding to see their lives change for the better.
Learn more about Kathleen Kerner.