Delaware court orders $30 million payment to abuse victim
CWN - December 02, 2010
A Delaware jury has awarded a stunning $30 million in compensatory damages to a man who said he was abused by a Catholic priest.
The abuse victim, John Vai, persuaded the jury that St. Elizabeth’s parish in Wilmington should be held responsible for gross negligence, because other parish personnel had reason to be aware that Vai was being molested by Francis DeLuca, a priest who has since been laicized.
The case is unusual not only because of the large damage award, but also because the jury held the parish accountable for failure to supervise the offending priest, rather than the diocese. The parish will be expected to pay $2 million, with the remaining $28 million to come from DeLuca. It is not clear how the laicized priest could pay that sum. The jury's award on December 1 included only compensatory damages; punitive damages are likely to be added on top of the $30 figure.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach five million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our final 2013 goal ($24,594 to go, assuming receipt of matching funds):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!