The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia says the church may pay over $126 million in reparation to the more than 600 victims who have filed claims under the Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program (IRRP). The program was started in 2018 to provide compensation for victims of clergy sexual abuse. Victims had until Sept. 30, 2019, to file a claim but, despite the amount of time that has since passed, less than half of the claims have thus far been paid.
An independent committee oversees the IRRP to ensure the archdiocese has no control over the distribution of funds. As a trade-off, alleged victims who have filed a claim under the IRRP are not eligible to take additional legal action against the archdiocese.
We Fight for Victims of Sexual Abuse
In 2018, Kline & Specter, PC joined forces with the Pennsylvania attorney general to file suit with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and make public the findings of the grand jury that investigated more than 1,000 claims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy over several decades. The release of this report helped inspire HB 951, a bill to extend the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse. Sadly, the bill was removed from the table in June 2021, but the fight to help victims continues.
Our firm has a proud history of fighting for victims of sexual abuse, including a settlement with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in a case involving the abuse of former altar boy Sean McIlmail. The settlement was the largest ever paid by the archdiocese in a sexual assault case.
We were the first firm to file a civil suit under Act 105, the Pennsylvania Anti-Human Trafficking Law, and have seen success in other notable cases including those involving abuses perpetrated by former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, the Presbyterian Children’s Village, and Solebury School in Bucks County. Thoughtful and thorough, we represent victims of all types of sexual abuse with compassion and confidentiality. If you need representation or have questions about your rights, we encourage you to call our office to learn how we can help.
Kline & Specter maintains offices in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. We work with attorneys in outside jurisdictions when appropriate. Call us at 215-772-1000 to schedule a free review of your case.