NY Assemblyman Lopez's Bill Harmful to Clergy Abuse Victims, Serves Direct Interest of NY Catholic Dioceses According to Abuse Attorney Irwin Zalkin

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Abuse lawyer, Irwin Zalkin, describes the real effects of NY Assemblyman Vito Lopez's clergy abuse bill.

Just yesterday evening news broke that New York Assemblyman Vito Lopez is at it again. Lopez recently failed to derail Assemblywoman Margaret Markey's four year effort to get a Child Protection Bill passed when his competing Bill was defeated in the NY State Assembly Codes Committee earlier this month. Now he's back with a "new and improved" version.

"Assemblyman Lopez's bill harms clergy abuse victims and directly serves the interests of the Catholic Dioceses of New York," explained Irwin Zalkin, a leading sexual abuse attorney who has negotiated more than $200 million in clergy abuse settlements nationwide. "Lopez's bill runs counter to the interest of protecting children. What the bill really does is protect the Catholic Dioceses of New York from the truth coming out about the decades of abuse of children they allowed to happen."

The Lopez Bill differs from Markey's Bill (AB2596), which has already been approved by the NY Assembly Codes Committee, in that it will not allow victims whose claims are barred by the current New York Statute of Limitations from having an opportunity to come forward. The Lopez proposal is meant to distract from the importance of AB2596 and to further a public relations campaign by the Catholic Church that suggests that these revival statutes are targeted against them. However, AB2596 is facially neutral and does not include or exclude any particular institutions.

The consequence of statutes of limitations that provide for a very brief period to file a lawsuit after the last touching or from the age of majority insulate the perpetrators and/or the institutions who protected them from bearing the costs of that harm. As a result the taxpayers - through their local and state governments have to carry the financial load for the cost of care of many victims who end up needing local or state funded medical care and unemployment or disability benefits. Revival legislation, like the one year window in Markey's Bill, is intended to allow victims whose claims were previously barred by the statute of limitations a short window to bring a lawsuit against institutions that should bear the costs of that harm, and shifts that burden back to where it belongs.

"Lopez's bill only furthers the Catholic Church's public relations mantra that the revival legislation is targeted against the Church," said Zalkin. "The reality is that A2596 is legislation targeted against all institutions that are, or should be, responsible for the economic burden that has cost local governments, state governments -- and through them the tax payers -- billions of dollars. Up to now, these institutions, including the Catholic Church, have been allowed to escape accountability and economic responsibility."

With offices in New York and San Diego, The Zalkin Law Firm (http://www.nyclergyabuse.com) is one of the premier sexual abuse and personal injury law firms in the country. The firm's lawyers have achieved groundbreaking results in numerous high-profile clergy abuse cases across the United States.

Mr. Zalkin is available to speak to the media about Vito Lopez' Bill, clergy sexual abuse, and the Child Victim's Act of New York. Please call Lisa Maynes (212-889-1300) to arrange interviews. To speak to Mr. Zalkin about legal representation, please call The Zalkin Law Firm (212-889-1300).

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