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Judge rules that sex abuse survivors can sue individual Catholic parishes

Catholic candle holders
There's been a major decision in favor of sex abuse survivors in the Catholic Diocese of Rochester. They can now sue individual parishes, the diocese, and other Catholic organizations for damages. (File photo: CNYCentral)

There’s been a major decision in favor of sex abuse survivors in the Catholic Diocese of Rochester.

They can now sue individual parishes, the diocese, and other Catholic organizations for damages.

A bankruptcy court judge made that decision Monday, denying an injunction filed by the diocese to prevent individual lawsuits.

“It’s an important victory for survivors. I think the judge said it best. For decades the survivors have been silenced. Now they can proceed with their cases and be heard. It’s a strong victory for survivors,” Leander James, an attorney representing some of the survivors, said.

He says he is ready to go to court for his clients, but added there is still a chance that negotiations with the diocese and survivors in bankruptcy court will succeed.

13WHAM has reached out to the diocese for comment but did not hear back.