Hundreds of sexual abuse victims who received meagre sums of money from the Catholic Church in exchange for their silence could now seek larger compensation payouts after a judge overturned one survivor’s settlement with the church.
That survivor, a former altar boy known as WCB, was paid $32,500 in 1996 by the church after he was repeatedly sexually abused by Warragul priest Daniel Hourigan.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court overturned the deed of release in a landmark ruling, removing the legal barriers for WCB to sue the Catholic Church for damages.
“This is a fresh chance not just for me, but for many abuse survivors including all the other Gippsland boys who were abused by Father Daniel Hourigan. I hope the ones who feel up to it step forward and hold the church to account.”
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Published October 1, 2020