Diocese of Honolulu Discloses Settlement of Dozens of Child Sexual Abuse Cases Involving Abuse by Hawaii Priests and Teachers

On January 14, 2016, the Diocese of Honolulu filed a lawsuit naming First Insurance as a defendant and releasing information pertaining to ongoing negotiations in a court-ordered mediation between survivors of childhood sexual abuse and the Diocese of Honolulu and other parties. This suit disclosed that dozens of lawsuits have been settled since the mediation process began in September 2015.

Rev. Gerald Funcheon was just one of the priests named.

Rev. Gerald Funcheon was just one of the priests named.

Mark Gallagher of Kailua, working in conjunction with Jeff Anderson & Associates, a national clergy abuse law firm based in Minnesota, has represented 36 survivors in this process and been involved in a majority of the resolved cases disclosed by the diocese. These cases involve various priests, teachers and other religious figures who worked in the Diocese of Honolulu.

“We have been working with a large number of plaintiffs to bring resolution to sexual abuse survivors under the supervision of the court and with complete cooperation of the diocese and religious order defendants,” said Mark Gallagher. “The process is completely confidential. We can confirm there have been a number of successful resolutions, but we must refrain from commenting further upon the status of the mediation or any particular settlements. We will continue to work hard with the survivors and the parties, including the diocese, to bring resolution and reconciliation.”

In 2012, the Hawaii legislature passed the Child Victims Act allowing survivors of sexual abuse in Hawaii a two-year window in which to file civil lawsuits against their abusers and institutions that may have allowed the abuse. The window was extended in 2014 for an additional two years and is set to expire on April 24, 2016. We encourage other sexual abuse survivors to come forward before this important deadline.

More information can be found at www.abusedinhawaii.com.

 

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