Attorneys reach $3.2 million settlement from Archdiocese of Chicago on sexual abuse lawsuit

Attorneys from Hilfman and Martin; Abels & Annes personal injury firms win major settlement in case tied to former Rev. Daniel McCormack.

Chicago — Chicago plaintiff lawyers Hilfman & Martin P.C. and Abels & Annes P. C. have settled a claim against the Archdiocese of Chicago, Cardinal George, and the Catholic Bishop of Chicago involving sexual abuse of a minor boy by former Rev. Daniel McCormack in the amount of $3.2 million dollars, $300,000 of which is to be placed in escrow for services. The identity of the plaintiff and his family are confidential.

The victim sued the Archdiocese of Chicago and Cardinal Francis George in 2007. He alleged that they failed to remove their priest, Rev. Daniel McCormack, from access to children although they had knowledge that McCormack had sexually abused minors. McCormack was arrested in January 2006, charged with multiple counts of criminal sexual assault and subsequently pleaded guilty to those charges in 2007. The plaintiff in this case is one of the victims for which McCormack pled guilty.

The settling victim was sexually abused by McCormack between 5th and 7th grades.

“On behalf of the victim, who was between the ages of 10-12 years old when he was abused, we are pleased to have reached this settlement because it marks one more step toward bringing justice to him and his family,” said William Martin, a partner at Hilfman & Martin, a Chicago-based law firm that has represented other victims in child sex abuse cases involving the Archdiocese of Chicago and other entities.

Hilfman & Martin, P.C. and Abels & Annes, P.C. extensively litigated this case and settled it shortly before trial. They are the only firms in McCormack litigation that took the depositions of many senior Archdiocese officials, vicars, priests, seminary leaders and other key Archdiocese personnel.

“Representing child victims of sexual abuse in cases against religious institutions, school districts, day care centers and other organizations that interface with children implicates complex and sensitive issues and requires a unique approach given the ages of our clients,” said David Abels, a partner at Abels & Annes, a Chicago-based personal injury law firm. ” We are proud to work every day on their behalves to represent their interests and maximize rewards that, we feel, are deserved.”

Both firms have carved out a niche in Chicago, taking on challenging cases for the victims of sexual abuse. “Our understanding of the lifelong devastating injury that abusers cause their victims is what drives and motivates us,” said Louis Hilfman, a partner at Hilfman & Martin P.C.

The firms have clients who are plaintiffs in two pending civil cases against the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Cardinal. These cases are also related to those defendants’ failures to timely remove McCormack from access to children and to McCormack’s activities while an Archdiocese priest.

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