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Case Law Update: Statute of Limitations in Priest Sexual Misconduct Case

Doe v. Diocese of Dallas, No. 106546 posed the question of whether trial court properly dismissed as time-barred plaintiff’s complaint alleging that he was sexually abused in 1984 by Catholic priest at time when other allegations of sexual misconduct had been lodged against said priest? Appellate Court, in reversing trial court, agreed with plaintiff that 2003 amendment to applicable limitations statute (735 ILCS sec. 5/13-202.2) could be applied retroactively to revive plaintiff’s stale claim since plaintiff alleged that instant lawsuit was filed within five years of discovery that his injuries had been caused by sexual abuse that had allegedly occurred in his childhood. This decision will have an impact on many people wishing to file sexual abuse cases against the clergy.