Attorney plans to move to dismiss lawsuit against Archdiocese of New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - An attorney representing church sex abuse victims will dismiss a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The lawsuit was filed in November in civil court, and the attorney involved says settling outside of court was a better outcome for all involved.
Morris Daniels says he buried decades’ old memories of abuse from when he was a student at Holy Rosary in New Orleans in the 1980′s. It wasn’t until he saw one of his classmates recount his story, that Daniels wanted to come forward to tell his.
"I don’t want this to happen to anyone else. The church had the opportunity. They knew this man had done this to their children,” said Daniels.
In December, Daniels told us how defrocked Deacon George Brignac groomed him, then started taking advantage of him as a student.
“Being raped in the back of his car…He would take me to that park, fly those airplanes and take advantage of me and as a kid I didn’t see anything wrong with this. He told me he loved me, he told me I was special, he told me this was our secret,” said Daniels.
Enraged that mediating Daniels’ case with the Archdiocese of New Orleans began to hit a wall, attorney Roger Stetter hit them with a lawsuit. It outlined Daniels’ case and sued the church for damages. However, this week Stetter says mediation with the Archdiocese began to turn around.
“I think the church has wanted to do the right thing all along and I think Archbishop Aymond is trying hard to deal with these cases,” said Stetter.
Stetter and the Archdiocese settled Daniels’ case outside of the courtroom, and therefore Stetter will dismiss the lawsuit against the church. He says this was the best outcome for all involved.
“The clients have to feel re-victimized in litigation where in mediation you can resolve it quickly and get closure,” said Stetter.
The figure the two parties agreed on is still confidential. But over the last nine years, Stetter says he’s recovered almost $10 million for church sex abuse victims from the archdiocese.
“We can't give them back and I can't give them back as an attorney their innocence, their youth, I can’t give them back their religious faith, all I can try to do is try to get some appropriate compensation,” said Stetter.
Now with this settlement, Stetter hopes Daniels can try to move forward from the pain he's since been living with and protect others from experiencing what he did.
“I’ve had a lot of things happen in my life that possibly wouldn’t have happened had the Catholic church protected me like they should have instead of putting me with a monster,” said Daniels.
In mediating Daniels’ case, the lawsuit against the Archdiocese was put on hold.
Daniels did not return our request for comment tonight.
The Archdiocese declined to comment about this settlement.
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