Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Hornbeck v. Archdiocese of Milwaukee

The five plaintiffs all claimed to have been sexually abused by a school teacher in the Archdiocese of Louisville in the years 1968 through 1973. They further claimed that the same teacher had previously sexually abused students in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and the Diocese of Madison, that neither diocese notified the police or took other action to prevent the teacher from later repeating such conduct, and that this constituted negligence which was a cause of their subsequently being abused.

The plaintiffs argued the statute of limitations should be calculated from their 2002 discovery of the alleged failures to act by the Wisconsin dioceses. The court held that, under the controlling cases, the plaintiffs knew they were harmed when abused. The statute of limitations, calculated from that point, barred their claims. The court affirmed the circuit court's dismissal of the plaintiffs' lawsuits.

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