A national class action lawsuit was filed on November 13, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, against the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Holy See, on behalf of six individuals (class representatives) who were victims of the endemic, systemic, rampant and pervasive rape and sexual abuse perpetrated by Roman Catholic Church cardinals, bishops, monsignors, priests, sisters, lay leaders, members of Catholic religious orders, educators, and other personnel, members, agents and representatives while serving in active ministry. The complaint alleges that rather than safeguarding and protecting the Class Members—most of whom were minor children at the time—the Defendants protected the abusive Clergy, took extraordinary measures to conceal their wrongful conduct, moved them from parish to parish, without warning church members or the general public, thereby further facilitating their predatory practices, failed and refused to report the abusive Clergy to law enforcement or other responsible authorities as required by law in every state, and—incredibly—in some instances, even promoted the abusive Clergy.

The lawsuit was filed by Mitchell A. Toups of Weller, Green, Toups & Terrell, L.L.P.; Richard L. Coffman, of The Coffman Law Firm (both of Beaumont, Texas), and Joe R. Whatley, Jr., and Henry C. Quillen of Whatley Kallas, LLP, of New York City and Portsmouth, NH, respectively. Toups, Coffman, and Whatley Kallas have handled major class action lawsuits for victims throughout the United States over the last 25 years.

Toups, Coffman, Whatley & Quillen believe that the cover-up by the Catholic Church resulted in the abuse continuing and becoming an endemic, systemic, rampant and pervasive issue causing harm to tens of thousands of victims throughout the United States. Toups, Coffman, Whatley & Quillen believe that the acts of the local clergy in the United States fall under the responsibility of the Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Holy See, per the “Command Responsibility Doctrine,” as well as other legal theories. Toups, Coffman, Whatley & Quillen are happy to consult with any other individuals who were victims of abuse, who are interested in joining the class action lawsuit that they filed. Toups can be reached at (409) 951-2351. Whatley and Quillen may be reached at (212) 447-7060, or you may access the class action website at https://clergysexabuse.com/.