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Irish Christian Brothers File for Bankruptcy

Christian Brothers File for Chapter 11 After Sexual Abuse Allegations

On April 28, 2011 the Irish Christian Brothers, a Catholic Church religious order, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the name Christian Brothers Institute. The bankruptcy filing was made in New York where the congregation is headquartered for its North American chapter. The cases 11-22820 and 11-22821 were made in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in the White Plains Division with the Honorable Robert D. Drain presiding. Both cases have since been consolidated into one.

This bankruptcy petition followed on the heels of sexual abuse allegations which have threatened the finances of the congregation. While the bankruptcy has been made in New York, the majority of the lawsuits have been made in the state of Washington and Canada. Currently, the congregation currently operates schools across the United States, including in New York, Montana, California and even Hawaii. They have also allegedly been able to obtain substantial money and assets for the congregation's headquarters in Rome.

There has been considerable concern about the way in which this bankruptcy filing will affect the victims of sexual abuse who have since made allegations against the congregation. While the bankruptcy could help expedite payment of some, for others it could forever extinguish their right and their ability to seek justice. Bankruptcy courts will play a large role in the ability of victims to step forward and make claims as they will view them as "creditors." A specific bar date, known as the Abuse Survivor Bar Date, will be set a very strict deadline by when claims must be made. If not made in time, the ability to make that claim and seek the justice that these victims deserve could be forever lost.

History of Sexual Abuse with Irish Christian Brothers

The Nature and Scope of the Problem of Sexual Abuse of Minors by Catholic Priests and Deacons in the United States was a 2004 report commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that is commonly referred to as the John Jay Report. According to this report, there were over 10,000 individuals who have stepped forward with allegations of sexual abuse between the years of 1950 and 2002. Over 4,000 of these allegations dealt with priests who were in the United States at the time.

Many of these allegations dealt with the Congregation of Christian Brothers. One of the most well-documented cases involving Brother Robert Brouillette who was arrested in 1998 for the indecent solicitation of a child and was convicted in 1999 for the possession of child pornography; he received four years of probation as a result. He also later faced a civil case in 2002 for sexual assault against a 21-year-old man.

Clergy Abuse Attorneys Protecting Victims Nationwide

At Manly & Stewart, we recognize how daunting it can be to face a clergy abuse case. It is for this reason that we have stepped forward to serve as advocates for victim's rights. Our firm is created from a team of attorneys who have extensive experience in handling clergy abuse cases and we are ready to put this effort to work for you. One of our founding attorneys, John C. Manly has been considered a leading authority on clergy abuse cases; in fact, he now represents over 500 clients throughout the world and has been featured by media in outlets of all kinds. He has also been successful in recovering some of the largest civil awards in history, including a $660 million settlement against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and a $150 million settlement against the Diocese of San Diego.

This is the kind of experience that you can trust if you are currently facing a sexual abuse case involving the Congregation of Christian Brothers. At our firm, we recognize the emotional stress involved and we are here to support and guide you as you move forward in the process. We also recognize the complications that arose after the Christian Brothers filed for bankruptcy and will do everything that we can to help you ensure that you get your rights protected. While the bar date has not been officially set, we will do everything that we can to ensure that your claim is made on time and that the bankruptcy does not limit your ability to gain the monetary compensation you deserve.

We encourage you to contact a clergy abuse lawyer from our firm as soon as possible if you would like to discuss your potential claim against the Congregation of Christian Brothers. We are well-versed in protecting the survivors of clergy sexual abuse and we will do everything that we can to commit our legal skills to helping you defend your legal rights. We strongly believe in helping you victims not only seek just compensation, but holding the responsible accountable for their actions. Give us a call to learn more!

If you would like to discuss your potential case involving the Christian Brothers in more detail, please do not hesitate to contact Manly & Stewart as soon as possible.

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