Last month, the Archdiocese of New Orleans bankruptcy attorneys sent clergy sexual abuse survivors with claims against the Archdiocese three request for information letters. Instead of communicating with the survivors’ attorneys, these documents asking for information were sent directly to the claimants.
Helen Lewis of Big Easy Magazine wrote an article about this, “Clergy Sexual Abuse Survivors Felt Intimidated by Letters Sent From the Archdiocese of New Orleans.” In the article, Russ Hebron, leader of the New Orleans branch of Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said, “It was meant to intimidate and trigger survivors which it did.” Lamothe Law Firm attorney Kristi Schubert was quoted, “I can’t speak to what their motives were but I can say that I believe many of my clients did feel intimidated. For people who have survived sexual abuse, it’s extremely difficult for them to imagine having any future interaction with their abusers, even if it’s indirect. For a lot of people, it was intimidating.” Lamothe Law Firm contacted their clients about their responses to these request letters.
If you were sexually abused and assaulted by an employee of the Archdiocese of New Orleans before May 1, 2020, the window to make a legal claim is unfortunately closed. This is due to the New Orleans Archdiocese filing for bankruptcy. However, for claims of clergy sexual abuse by an New Orleans Archdiocese employee occurring on or after May 1, 2020, you may still pursue a claim for compensation. You may also pursue claims against most other Archdioceses for claims for abuse that occurred at any time.