New SOL law for child sexual abuse survivors must be changed!
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Revise the new bogus SOL law! Help child victims of sexual abuse by changing this SOL law.
Please spread the word!!! Write to Governor Hogan and Archbishop Lori and anyone else you can think of. Time is running short for this important SOL issue. Thanks
Hope, but false hope. The Archdiocese of Baltimore won a significant hidden victory in a new Maryland law extends the statute of limitations for victims of childhood sexual abuse to age 38.
While extending the statute of limitations from 25 to age 38, the law adds a requirement for victims suing a rapist's employer to meet the gross negligence standard. Before this law, a sexual abuse victim had to show ordinary negligence by the employers. But with this new law, victims suing culpable employers, such as the Archdiocese of Baltimore in priest-rape cases, must prove the employer was acting with thoughtless disregard of the consequences without the exertion of any effort to avoid them. Maryland's courts describes this standard as "an amorphous concept, resistant to precise definition." And there is a long line of Maryland cases that say even some of the most egregious conduct meeting the negligence standard would not pass the gross negligence test.
Even an EMT declaring a person dead, when the person was in fact alive, does not amount to gross negligence. In McCoy v. Hatmaker, 135 Md. App. 693 (2000), an EMT first drove to the wrong location, went back to the station, finally arrived to the still alive victim and then declared the victim dead. The problem was that the victim was still alive, and the EMT did not provide treatment. Even with this set of circumstances, Maryland’s courts found that the EMT did not commit gross negligence.
In short, while it may appear like victims can receive compensation from a court of law, the increase in the standard of proof to the gross negligence standard all but insulates the Archdiocese of Baltimore from the responsibility it is due to the many people it failed.
This is unacceptable and should be changed to the next session of the General Assembly.
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