In April 2017, three men received justice for the sexual abuse they experienced nearly a decade prior by former Roman Catholic priest and convicted sex offender, Daniel McCormack. The Archdiocese of Chicago settled the lawsuits for a total of $4.45 million.
Attorney Mark Brown of Lane & Lane, LLC, represented the three victims throughout the legal process. When discussing the case, Brown explains that two of the victims settled their lawsuits in January 2017, and the third victim reached a settlement in April 2017.
The first two victims accused McCormack of sexual abuse when participating in an after-school program at Our Lady of the Westside Catholic School. The third was abused while playing basketball for Our Lady of the Westside, for which McCormack was the coach.
Allegations Are Made
In 2006, the first sexual abuse allegations became public against McCormack.
Four years earlier, Cardinal Francis George told Catholic bishops everywhere to remove any priest from ministry who had committed even one act of sexual abuse. However, the Cardinal heard of an earlier allegation against McCormack from the Chicago police in 2005 and yet allowed McCormack to continue serving on the ministry at St. Agatha Catholic Church.
It wasn’t until McCormack’s second allegation was released in 2006 that he was removed from the priesthood at St. Agatha.
The Guilty Plea
In 2007, McCormack pled guilty to sexually abusing five boys between the ages of eight and twelve while working at the church, and he was permanently removed from all ministry. He only served three years in prison before being allowed parole. Under the Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act, McCormack is now being held in a state mental health facility.
The Cost to the Archdiocese
The Archdiocese of Chicago paid for the settlement of McCormack's lawsuits to avoid further legal action for their disregard of McCormack’s actions. If the archdiocese didn’t settle these lawsuits, it could have been sued directly for negligence. The archdiocese sold unused real estate to pay for the settlements.
McCormack has cost the archdiocese millions of dollars, and his “insurance plan” with them is up. McCormack still has additional cases pending against him, which he will have to settle himself.
Recovery of Damages
Dealing with sexual abuse is never easy, and even if it takes time to recover and move past what happened, justice should always be served. The damage from abuse can last years, and recovery can require therapy and other costly expenses.
Mark Brown of Lane & Lane, LLC played a vital role in helping these boys receive the compensation they deserve. Without his professional guidance, the victims might have felt too overwhelmed to make it through the legal process and fight their assailant on their own. All attorneys at Lane & Lane, LLC are qualified and determined to support you through whatever your case may entail.
If you’re ready to discuss the details of your case today, call us at 312-332-1400 or fill out the contact form below.