Priest Abuse Case Inches Through Discovery

Priest Abuse Case Inches Through Discovery

(CN) - A man who claims that he was sexually molested in the first grade by a priest cannot challenge the scope of discovery in his claims against the Diocese of Camden, N.J., a federal judge ruled.

Mark Bryson, 52, alleges that he suffered traumatic amnesia and repressed memories until Feb. 10, 2010, when he saw a man who triggered memories of his alleged abuser, the Rev. Joseph Shannon.


     Bryson then filed a federal complaint against the Diocese of Camden, alleging negligence and breach of fiduciary duty claims.


     The diocese moved to dismiss, arguing that the statute of limitations bars Bryson's claims because the abuse occurred over 40 years ago. Citing the 1972 decision Lopez v. Swyer, Bryson countered that New Jersey's discovery rule tolls the statute of limitations until a plaintiff knows of the wrong suffered.


     After the court ordered a preliminary Lopez hearing, Bryson asked the diocese to explain its burden in defending the lawsuit. The diocese responded that it did not know whether 28 Diocesan officials who supervised Father Shannon "had any knowledge which would be admissible at trial - because these individuals are long since dead."


     When U.S. Magi...

 

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