The Kansas City Star reports that a Missouri judge has ruled that a wrongful death lawsuit against a Kansas City priest can proceed.
Don and Rosemary Teeman filed a lawsuit against Monsignor Thomas O’Brien and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph last year claiming that their son, Brian, who served as an alter boy, received repeated sexual abuse, resulting in his suicide in 1986.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death in Missouri is three years.
But Jackson County Circuit Judge Michael Manners “held as valid the argument of the boys’ parents that the statute of limitations should be suspended because the defendant’s cover up, fraud, and concealment of the priest’s alleged abuse of their son and other children”, the Kansas City Star said.
The diocese issued a statement saying, “This procedural ruling did not make any finding as to the factual allegations made by the plaintiffs, and the diocese will continue to defend the case.”
According to the report, “The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, is thought to be the first wrongful-death case in Missouri involving priest sexual abuse in which the statute of limitations could be suspended based on ‘fraudulent concealment.’ said Rebecca Randles, the Teemans’ attorney.”
To read the full story by Judy L. Thomas at the Kansas City Star, click here.