Brooklyn Diocese Faces Nearly 600 Child Sexual Abuse Lawsuits

Survivors have filed nearly 600 lawsuits against the Brooklyn Diocese for protecting abusive priests. Almost 3,000 lawsuits have been filed statewide.

Clergy Abuse News

The New York Diocese of Brooklyn is facing almost 600 lawsuits related to priest abuse allegations. Many of these lawsuits were filed under the New York Child Victims Act (CVA) — a bill passed in August 2019. 

The CVA extended the legal deadline to file civil claims of child sexual abuse. Additionally, it opened a retroactive window that revived many expired cases in the state of New York. 

Now, priest abuse survivors are taking legal action to seek justice and compensation from the New York Catholic dioceses. New York’s legal “look back” window for child sexual abuse cases will close on August 13, 2021.

NY Legal Window Closes in August

Abused by a New York Priest? You May Have Legal Rights

Survivors File 571 Lawsuits Against Brooklyn Diocese

Between August 2019 and December 2020, survivors filed 571 priest abuse lawsuits against the Brooklyn Diocese. Many of these cases were revived under the New York CVA. 

These lawsuits name 301 alleged abusers. Of this total, 230 are accused clergy members. Apart from identifying alleged abusers, many of these lawsuits claim the diocese played a role in the abuse. 

In many cases, past and present diocesan officials concealed incidents of abuse and protected many abusers from public scrutiny and legal consequences. This secrecy often allowed abusers to prey on more victims.

Former Priest Romano Ferraro Named In 18 Lawsuits

Defrocked priest Romano Ferraro was named in 18 of the lawsuits filed against the Brooklyn Diocese. The abuse allegations against him span from 1958 to 1991. 

Church documents show the Brooklyn Diocese knew about Ferraro abusing minors as early as 1973. Rather than remove him from ministry, the diocese helped transfer Ferraro to a Missouri parish where he continued to abuse children. 

Ferraro also faces abuse allegations in at least one other New York diocese and in New Jersey

In 1988, Ferraro was defrocked. In 2004, he was convicted of child sexual assault in Massachusetts. He is currently serving a life sentence. In March 2020, a parole board denied Ferraro’s request for parole.

Insurance Company Files Lawsuit Against Brooklyn Diocese

The Brooklyn Diocese is also facing pushback from its own insurance company. In December 2020, the insurance company, Arrowood Indemnity Company, filed a lawsuit against the diocese. 

In the lawsuit, the insurance company argues it should not be responsible for compensating victims abused by diocesan priests. 

The company made the argument that the Brooklyn diocese knew about abusive priests and willingly covered up their crimes. The lawsuit details the abuse of former Brooklyn priest Romano Ferraro, as well as three other abusive priests in the diocese. 

Regardless of how the diocese compensates victims, survivors of clergy abuse should file a claim soon. The window to file a legal claim against the New York dioceses is fast approaching.

Abused by a New York Priest?

Review Your Legal Options Before the Window Closes

New York Dioceses Face Nearly 3,000 Lawsuits

The Brooklyn Diocese is one of eight Catholic dioceses in the state of New York. Because of the state’s legal “look back” window, many survivors of clergy abuse have been given a second chance to seek justice against their abusers and the responsible dioceses. 

More than 2,801 civil lawsuits have been filed against New York Catholic dioceses. The claims against the Brooklyn diocese are nearly one-fifth of the total claims filed against the eight dioceses. 

Only the New York Archdiocese surpasses the Brooklyn Diocese in number of cases. The archdiocese faces 710 priest abuse lawsuits. Each diocese is facing numerous sexual abuse lawsuits.

Priest Abuse Lawsuits Against New York Dioceses

Diocese Number of Lawsuits
Albany Diocese266
Brooklyn Diocese571
Buffalo Diocese498
New York Archdiocese710
Ogdensburg Diocese80
Rochester Diocese316
Rockville Centre Diocese228
Syracuse Diocese157
*These numbers are accurate as of December 2020.

On August 13, 2021, the New York “look back” window will close. New York survivors of childhood sexual abuse should take action now. Abuse survivors with older cases will lose their opportunity for legal justice when the window closes.

If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault or a serious physical assault, you may have legal rights. Our team of attorneys is here to help you seek justice against predators and the organizations that cover up or ignore your abuse. Learn more about your legal options, the claims process and potential compensation.

Request a free, confidential abuse case evaluation by calling or sending a message through our secure contact form.

Next Article Arrow Latest Delivery Assault News Next Article Arrow Latest Delivery Assault News