Punitive Damages Granted Against Archdiocese of Chicago

On February 9, 2016, Cook County Judge Clare McWilliams, ruled against the Archdiocese of Chicago on behalf of ‘John Doe’ whom the defrocked priest, Daniel J. McCormack, allegedly abused as a young boy at St. Agatha’s Parish in Chicago’s Lawndale neighborhood. The ruling on Tuesday means, many, if not all of the victims allegedly abused by McCormack can seek punitive damages if their lawsuits make it to trial. This could cost the Archdiocese millions of additional dollars, on top of the millions they have already paid out to sex abuse victims in this particular case.  Attorney Eugene K. Hollander of The Law Offices of Eugene K. Hollander represented the victim, now in his early 20s, who alleged that McCormack sexually abused him while he was enrolled in third grade for a short period of time at St. Agatha's Parish. ‘John Doe’ alleges he was sexually abused twice while attending St. Agatha’s and that Father McCormack was a person he trusted, because he knew his mother. After complaining to his mother, he switched schools to finish out third grade. The pain and suffering ‘John Doe’ has endured since these encounters has caused severe problems in his life, including mental disturbances, sexual confusion and substance abuse. Evidence indicates that the Archdiocese of Chicago received warnings about McCormack's disturbing sexual behavior while he was in seminary, yet still chose to ordain him as a priest. Because of the negligent, willful and wanton acts of the Archdiocese of Chicago, ‘John Doe’ is joined by a number of other victims of horrific sexual abuse performed by Daniel J. McCormack. Attorney Eugene Hollander, says: My client is very pleased with the Court's ruling.  He looks forward to his upcoming trial, and having all of the evidence which supported the Motion for Punitive Damages placed before the jury. Eugene Hollander has represented five other victims who allege sexual abuse by McCormack. All of these claims have been settled with the Archdiocese of Chicago, including one for $1.25 million in May of 2015. There are currently around 20 pending lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Chicago related to allegations of sexual abuse by its priests currently proceeding through litigation in Cook County.

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