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The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses$
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James T. O'Reilly and Margaret S.P. Chalmers

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199937936

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937936.001.0001

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Damages Issues

Damages Issues

Chapter:
(p.167) Chapter 15 Damages Issues
Source:
The Clergy Sex Abuse Crisis and the Legal Responses
Author(s):

James T. O’Reilly

Margaret S. P. Chalmers

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937936.003.0015

U.S. Catholic defenders argue lack of diocesan knowledge as a basis for denial of damage awards against bishops. Also, the claim of severe emotional distress has been challenged when reporting of abuse was delayed by the victim. The chapter presents an overview of damage awards, including prerequisites for compensatory damages in general, such as establishment of the four elements of negligence. It also describes the rationale for punitive damages and the permissible ratio of a punitive damages award to compensatory damages. It discusses the effects of caps on damages awards, awards of plaintiff‘s legal fees, and church-paid counseling and therapy as a damage element.

Keywords:   emotional distress, victim, Vatican, proof of harm, diocese

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