Buffalo Press Conference on Child Victims Act 8/14/19
PRESS CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT
PRESS CONFERENCE TO BE HELD CONTACT: Eva Herman
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 14, 2019 (12:00 PM) (305) 778-3388
Outside the Erie County Clerk (Details Below) www.hermanlaw.com
FIRST OF HUNDREDS OF LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST NEW YORK INSTITUTIONS ON BEHALF OF VICTIMS OF CHILD SEX ABUSE
Filings Coincide With the Opening of the One-Year Window Under the Child Victims Act; Diocese of Buffalo Named in First Three Suits
BUFFALO, NY — Sex abuse victim’s attorney Stuart Mermelstein will hold a press conference on Wednesday, August 14, 2019 announcing and discussing the filing of three lawsuits against the DIOCESE OF BUFFALO. The press conference and the filing of the suits coincides with the opening of the window for filing claims under the New York Child Victims Act. Mermelstein will discuss the three cases being filed Wednesday along with the impact of this legislation on future claims that will be filed by other child victims. Mermelstein will be available to answer questions from media outlets.
The cases being filed Wednesday offer a small glimpse at the depth of the child sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. Please see below for a short summary of each case to be discussed:
- A lawsuit is being filed on behalf of an adult male who was sexually assaulted by Monsignor Edward J. Walker when the man was approximately 14 years old. Msgr. Walker anally and orally raped the plaintiff in the rectory of Holy Name of Jesus parish in Buffalo, NY. Msgr. Edwards is deceased but has been accused on multiple occasions of sexual assault. The plaintiff will be present at the press conference to give comment but wishes to remain anonymous.
- A lawsuit is being filed on behalf of an adult male who was sexually assaulted by Rev. Michael Lewandowski, a Franciscan Friar, when the man was approximately 16 years old. The abuse took place at St. Francis High School in Athol Springs, NY. On multiple occasions, Lewandowski would force the plaintiff to wrestle, pulled the plaintiff’s pants down and fondled his penis. Lewandowski was removed from public ministry in May 2014 after his Order received an allegation that he had sexually abused a minor in the 1980s.
- A lawsuit is being filed on behalf of an adult male who was sexually abused when he was 8 years old by an active priest who is still employed by the Diocese of Buffalo. More details concerning this claim will be released once the lawsuit is filed.
These suits would not have been possible without the New York Legislature’s passing of the Child Victims Act earlier this year. As a result of the Child Victims Act’s one-year window, victims must swiftly assess and prepare any potential claims they may have against the entities responsible for their abuse. Herman Law represents hundreds of victims of childhood sexual abuse in New York, many of whom have been victims of the widespread problem of sex abuse within the Catholic Church.
In anticipation of the opening of the filing window, Herman Law has constructed its own “Predator Priest Index” (PPI), which lists over 500 accused priests in New York State compiled through the firm’s own investigations and outside sources. Herman Law will begin filing claims against the church, along with the claims of child victims seeking justice against non-church entities responsible for enabling abusers, in the proper New York courts beginning Wednesday.
The press conference will be held Wednesday, August 14th at 12:00 PM, adjacent to the George Washington Monument outside the office of the Erie County Clerk (92 Franklin St., Buffalo, NY 14202).
Herman Law is a law firm for victims of sexual abuse across the nation. The firm is led by its founder Jeff Herman, who is recognized as one of the country’s leading attorneys for child victims of sexual abuse. The firm has obtained over $200 million in verdicts and settlements. Jeff has developed a national reputation for his powerful advocacy and unwavering dedication to his clients. Herman Law is committed to empowering victims of sexual abuse to take back their lives and begin the healing process.