The Kansas City Star

By JUDY L. THOMAS The Kansas City Star
Updated: 2012-06-29T23:31:20Z

A wrongful-death lawsuit alleging that a boy took his life decades ago because of repeated sexual abuse by a Kansas City priest can proceed, a judge ruled this week.
The statute of limitations for wrongful death is three years in Missouri.But in his order, Jackson County Circuit Judge Michael Manners held as valid the argument of the boys’ parents that the statute of limitations should be suspended because of the defendants’ cover-up, fraud and concealment of the priest’s alleged abuse of their son and other children. The judge dismissed the parents’ other claims that the priest and the diocese deprived their son of “a material chance of surviving.” Don and Rosemary Teeman filed the case against Monsignor Thomas O’Brien and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph last September after someone 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. The diocese and O’Brien filed motions to dismiss the lawsuit, arguing that too much time had passed.“I feel this win on the motion to dismiss is a big, big plus for our case to get justice for our son, Brian, and for all the victims who are also trying to get justice,” Don Teeman told The Kansas City Star. “God has started to answer our prayers.”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.“This is [...]