Class action against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth

by John McKiggan

McKiggan Hebert Lawyers in Halifax and Koskie Minsky LLP in Toronto have filed a class action against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth on behalf of persons who allege they were sexually abused by priests from the Archdiocese from 1960 to date.

August 2, 2018 – Halifax, NS B3J 1H6

The class action claims that the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of Halifax-Yarmouth, more commonly known as the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth, had a decades long policy of secrecy of any allegations of sexual abuse against a priest.

Several priests from the Archdiocese of Halifax-Yarmouth have been criminally convicted of sexually abusing children within the Archdiocese.

The lawsuit claims that the Archdiocese sent priests accused of sexual misconduct to Southdown Institute, a treatment facility in Ontario, and then placed the priests back into parishes without any notice or warning to parishioners.

The class action was filed by Halifax lawyer John McKiggan of the law firm McKiggan Hebert Lawyers and Koskie Minsky LLP of Toronto. John McKiggan Q.C., lead counsel from McKiggan Hebert, has received national recognition for his work over the past 25 years representing survivors of childhood sexual abuse. He is the author of Breaking the Silence: The Survivor’s Guide to Abuse Claims in Canada.

According to John:

Childhood sexual abuse is a crime that can have lasting and debilitating effects on it’s victims. Predators use their influence and positions of power to gain access to, and abuse, vulnerable children. The claim alleges the Archdiocese of Halifax was aware of sexual abuse by many of it’s priests and failed to take steps to protect children within the Archdiocese.

This class action is about survivors of childhood sexual abuse being able to take control of their lives and hold the Archdiocese accountable for it’s inaction. McKiggan said that proceeding as a class action helps to protect survivors:

Many survivors of sexual abuse, through no fault of their own, carry a great deal of shame and guilt about what happened to them. Fear of public disclosure prevents many victims of childhood abuse from breaking the silence about what happened to them and seeking help. The advantage of a class action is that it allows survivors claims to be resolved in a respectful and private fashion that protects vulnerable victims of abuse.

McKiggan Hebert Lawyers is accepting enquiries from persons who were sexually abused by priests from the Archdiocese of Halifax and the former Diocese of Yarmouth.  If you, or a member of your family, were a victim of sexual abuse by a priest, you may contact them for further information toll free at (877) 423-2050.

You can read the Notice of Action here.

For press inquiries, please contact McKiggan Hebert Lawyers.

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