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Case against Catholic Diocese for abuse by Parish Priest

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Our client, MDC grew up in a small and regional town in Victoria. He was born into a working-class Catholic family and took great pride in his role as an altar boy. He attended the local Catholic Primary School which was on the same grounds as the Church and presbytery where the Parish Priest, Father Bryan Desmond Coffey lived.

In around 1974, MDC was sexually abused by Father Coffey when he was 11 years old. The abuse had a profound impact on him and consequently altered the rest of his life. He refused to attend church and left the town as soon as he was old enough to. MDC settled his case against the Church in 2000 for a very low sum as the statute of limitations was enforced and he was out of time to sue. He signed a Deed of Release which released the Diocese from paying him any more money.

TheStatute of Limitations was removed for child sexual abuse and a few years after that, MDC brought proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against the Diocese. Fortunately, Justice Keogh of the Supreme Court of Victoria handed down a judgement in the matter of WCB v Roman Catholic Trusts Corporation for the Diocese of Saleand granted the application to set aside a deed of release in a historical sexual abuse claim. MDC sought damages for non-economic loss, past and future economic loss and treatment expenses. Shortly before the jury was empanelled for the trial, his case settled


I could write a book as to how the last 4 years would have been different if not for Tom and his team.
The support, assistance, advice from the first conversation till even after the settlement was second to none from the team at Stacks Goudkamp.
Four years on and after many downs, my children and I have our lives back.
We are unable to THANK YOU enough, but know that you have changed our lives for the better in so many ways since the accident.



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