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Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Chicago
Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of ordinary people who have suffered serious personal injuries due to the negligence of others. Our trial lawyers take pride in obtaining the best possible verdicts and settlements for our clients so they can recover as fully as possible. We are also advocates for legal change to protect others from becoming victims.

Priest Sexual Abuse Lawyers in Chicago

Attorneys Help Victims Across the United States Receive Compensation for Clergy Abuse

Sexual abuse is always devastating but can be especially damaging when it involves a person in whom families have placed their trust and faith. In recent years, the shocking prevalence of sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Church has come to light. Victims and their families are struggling not only with the harm done to them, but with the slow and troubling response of the church to reports of abuse. In many cases, instead of addressing the harm done to victims, church officials have worked to cover up reports of abuse and protect the church's reputation.

The full extent of the harm done to victims and the church's culpability in these cases is still being uncovered. For example, in December 2018, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released the findings of an investigation into six dioceses in the state. While these dioceses had identified 185 members of the clergy as having been credibly accused of child sexual abuse, the report stated that there are at least 500 additional priests against whom allegations have been made, and in many of these cases, the church failed to adequately investigate these charges.

If you have been a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of your priest or a clergy member, the Chicago personal injury attorneys of Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C. can help you pursue a civil lawsuit to receive money damages against the archdiocese that allowed this abuse to happen. Contact us today at 312-553-4900 for a free consultation.

Locations in Which Credibly Accused Priests Have Been Identified

Some Catholic Church dioceses throughout the U.S. have released lists of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. These include:

Frequently Asked Questions About Priest Sexual Abuse Cases


Did the Church know about my abuser's misconduct?

Litigation is often necessary to determine the answer to this question. While certain archdioceses have identified “credible” allegations against abusers, other archdioceses have avoided doing so. Additionally, even in those instances where the church admits it has credible claims against the abuser, they generally do not disclose to the public when those claims first occurred. Filing a case generally allows for discovery into these subject matters.


Who determines the value of my case?

Usually a jury, though this varies by state. If the Archdiocese that you were a part of is in bankruptcy, usually the bankruptcy Trustee and Court will formulate a plan that compensates victims with valid claims. The Trustee and Court will look to various factors in determining the value of the claim. This, along with an analysis of the entity's assets, will likely determine the value of your claim. Hiring a qualified lawyer can help maximize your recovery.


Is it too late to file my case?

That depends on the state you live in and the information the church had about your particular abuser. The statute of limitations varies significantly by state. Some states allow for claims to move forward even after the statute of limitations has expired if there is evidence that the church concealed its own misconduct. A qualified lawyer can help you determine whether you can file your case.


Can my case move forward even if my abuser is dead?

The death of the abuser may or may not affect your ability to move forward with your case. If the church knew of your abuser's misconduct but allowed him to remain a priest, his death may not affect your case at all.


Do I need a lawyer?

Abuse claims against the Catholic Church or its Archdioceses are extremely complicated. A lawyer can help you navigate the many difficult issues that arise in cases like this.

Recent News About Clergy Sexual Abuse:

Read More About Clergy Sexual Abuse

Contact Our Personal Injury Lawyers

If you have experienced sexual abuse at the hands of a priest or member of the clergy, our attorneys can help you pursue compensation from those who were responsible for the harm done to you and your family. For a free consultation, call our office at 312-553-4900 or fill out our online contact form.

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Recent News Story


Christopher T. Hurley, founding partner of Hurley, McKenna, & Mertz, P.C., will be sworn in as the 63rd President of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association (ITLA). Chris will lead an organization of the top trial lawyers in Illinois in its mission of upholding the Constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Illinois, defending trial by jury and protecting the rights of injured consumers and workers.

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