Romanucci & Blandin files childhood abuse lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Newark and the Diocese of Paterson on behalf of three former altar boys
Romanucci & Blandin, LLC announces the filing of three lawsuits alleging child sex abuse, two against the Archdiocese of Newark and one against the Diocese of Paterson. Plaintiffs also named their alleged abusers, Father Gerry Sudol a/k/a Gerard J. Sudol, Father Charles Bradley, and Brother Douglas Soik, O.F.M. Cap. ,as defendants.
The lawsuits were filed pursuant to the New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act (CSAA). New Jersey passed into law Bills S477 and A3648, which became effective December 1, 2019. This legislation opened a two-year window for survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the State of New Jersey to pursue otherwise time-barred actions. The law also amends the Charitable Immunity Act, N.J.S.A 2A:53A-7, and the Tort Claims Act, N.J.S.A 59:1-1et seq., to allow for additional and retroactive liability for public entities and non-profit religious, charitable, educational organizations that facilitated or covered up abuse.
The first lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Newark is on behalf of a former altar boy who alleges that Father Gerry Sudol (identified in some Church documents as Gerard J. Sudol), repeatedly abused him at a Newark, New Jersey parish in the 1990s. In February 2019, Father Sudol’s name appeared on the Archdiocese of Newark’s list of credibly accused priests, which confirmed that he is the subject of “multiple” credible allegations of abuse.
The second lawsuit is on behalf of a former altar boy who alleges that Brother Douglas Soik, O.F.M. Cap. repeatedly abused him at an Essex County, New Jersey parish in the 1980s. Brother Soik was a friar of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, a Franciscan order.
The third lawsuit is against the Diocese of Paterson on behalf of a former altar boy who alleges that Father Charles Bradley sexually abused him at a parish in Passaic County, New Jersey. The Diocese of Paterson has included Father Bradley on its list of credibly accused priests. In 1995, the Diocese removed Father Bradley from assignment and he “has never again functioned as a priest” according to statements recently made by Bishop Rodimer.
Romanucci & Blandin Attorneys Martin Gould, Jason Friedl and Meenaz Pradhan, alongside local counsel David Sternlieb from Shapiro & Sternlieb, LLC, and Rayna Kessler from Robins Kaplan LLP represent the plaintiffs.
“Child sex abuse is one of the most heinous crimes that can be committed. By passing the New Jersey Child Sexual Abuse Act, New Jersey joined a growing number of states that have sent a clear message to child predators and those who have protected them that they will be held accountable. Our clients, who were abused by clergy they were taught to obey and trust, have sustained a unique trauma because of who their perpetrators were. And for the first time in their lives, they finally have the opportunity to confront their abusers, and to start the healing process,” said Attorney Martin D. Gould.
“A report released in January 2020 revealed that almost 200 priests in New Jersey are ‘credibly accused’ of sexually abusing parishioners. Tragically, there was a longstanding culture of systemic abuse and coverup within many religious institutions. We are proud of our New Jersey survivors who demonstrated immense courage by coming forward to confront and expose their abusers. Without question, their courage and the courage of all the other survivors will help protect the next generation of children by forcing institutions to have zero tolerance when it comes to sexual abuse of children,” said Attorney Jason Friedl.
To learn more about legal options when someone has suffered sexual abuse or interpersonal violence please visit: https://rblaw.net/sexual-abuse-attorneys/.