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Catholic diocese settles wrongful-death lawsuit during jury selection in … – Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS The Kansas City Star
The Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese has settled a wrongful-death lawsuit for $ 2.25 million with the parents of a boy who allegedly took his own life 30 years ago because of repeated sexual abuse by a Kansas City priest.

File photo Brian Teeman, 14, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in November 1983 at the family’s home in Independence.
File photo by SHANE KEYSER | The Kansas City Star Donald Teeman (from left), Jackie Teeman, Rosemary Teemanand Jon David Couzens held photos of Brian Teeman in September 2011 outside the headquarters of Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph as they announced a new civil lawsuit accusing Msgr. Thomas J. O’Brien of causing Brian Teeman’s death in 1983. A civil trial in the wrongful-death lawsuit begins Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court in Independence.

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The settlement — the largest ever for the diocese in a single priest sexual abuse lawsuit — came on Monday afternoon as jury selection was underway for the trial in Jackson County Circuit Court in Independence.
“This is one of the most significant cases we’ve ever worked on,” said Rebecca Randles, the attorney for Donald and Rosemary Teeman, who filed the lawsuit against the diocese and Monsignor Thomas J. O’Brien in 2011 after a man who served as an altar boy with their son, Brian, told them of the alleged abuse. Brian Teeman, 14, died of a gunshot wound in November 1983 at the family’s home in Independence.
“This allows everyone to put this behind them,” Randles said. “It allows closure at this point in time. And it sends a message that no matter how long ago something like this happens, there [...]

By |July 9th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Catholic diocese settles wrongful-death lawsuit during jury selection in … – Kansas City Star|

Catholic hospital, bishops say defense strategy in wrongful death suit of twin … – Fox News

DENVER –  Officials at a Catholic hospital at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit and the state’s bishops issued a statement Monday acknowledging that it was “morally wrong” for the hospital to argue in Colorado court that twin fetuses that died in its care were not, under state law, human beings.
When the two-year-old court filing surfaced last month, it triggered an avalanche of criticism – because the hospital’s legal argument seemed to plainly clash with the church’s stance that life begins at conception.
But it is also now fueling an already raging debate in Colorado and beyond about whether fetuses should have legal rights and, if so, what kind.
Colorado’s bishops last week met with executives at Catholic Healthcare Initiatives, a branch of the church that operates St. Thomas More Medical Center in Canon City, the hospital at the center of the case, to review how the lawsuit was handled. The two released separate statements Monday saying CHI executives had been unaware of the legal arguments and pledging to “work for comprehensive change in Colorado’s law, so that the unborn may enjoy the same legal protections as other persons.”
Spurred on by advancing medical technology that makes fetuses more viable and more visible, states have been expanding some rights to fetuses, sometimes in conjunction with anti-abortion groups and the Catholic Church.
State laws vary widely. It’s difficult to quantify how many states allow wrongful death lawsuits on behalf of unborn children because each state has different case law and judicial interpretation. A report from the anti-abortion Americans United for Life estimates that 38 permit such lawsuits.
According to The Guttmacher Institute, which tracks reproductive health issues, 37 states allow some form of [...]

By |February 5th, 2013|News|Comments Off on Catholic hospital, bishops say defense strategy in wrongful death suit of twin … – Fox News|