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Nevada Supreme Court Rules Wisconsin Diocese Not Liable in Priest Sexual Abuse Case


In late May, the Nevada Supreme Court issued a controversial decision when it overturned a $500,000 jury award to a man who claimed he was sexually abused by a Catholic priest. The case involved not only the sensationalism of sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, but also the complex elements of liability and jurisdiction.

Here are some details about the decision:

  • The case involved a man who claimed to have been groped by a Catholic priest in 1984 when he was 13 years old. Before being sent to the Las Vegas parish where the abuse took place, the priest had a history of abuse in Wisconsin.
  • Although a jury awarded the victim $500,000, the Nevada Supreme Court ultimately overturned the award, stating that the Catholic diocese of Green Bay was not liable in the case because it didn’t have sufficient ties to Nevada.
  • The decision has garnered support and opposition from a number of legal experts and officials. Those who support the decision believe that allowing courts to hold out-of-state defendants liable in cases where they don’t have personal jurisdiction could have set a precedent that would similarly make Nevada state agencies responsible for the wrongdoing of all doctors and lawyers they license.

The case – which you can read more abouthere – highlights the complexities of civil lawsuits, especially when it comes to the crucial element of liability. In personal injury and other civil claims, it becomes the responsibility of victims to prove that another person or entity is liable for their damages. This task can become complicated in a number of ways, including situations involving defendants from another jurisdiction.

If you have questions about liability and how our accident attorneys at Shook & Stone can help you recover the compensation you deserve, we are available to provide a FREE case evaluation. Contact us today for more information about your case and rights.


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