Three brothers have filed a $39 million lawsuit against the Mississippi Catholic Church, the first such suit filed in the state.
Kenneth Morrison, Francis Morrison, and Thomas Morrison filed suit Wednesday in Hinds County Circuit Court. The suit charges the Reverend George Broussard and the Catholic Diocese of Jackson, including Bishop William Houck and former Vicar General Bernard Law, with civil contempt and fraud for failure to report alleged sexual abuse.
The brothers claim they were abused by Broussard in the early 1970s. They say as a result of the abuse they suffered emotional damage and loss of earnings.
Marcie Fyke of Jackson, the Morrisons' lawyer, said she thinks the church's hierarchy then and now has been aware of the abuse and acted to cover it up.
A call to the Jackson diocese seeking comment was not returned.
The Morrison suit is the first in Mississippi in a year when the Catholic Church has been battered by abuse lawsuits across the country.
Fyke said she has been contacted by alleged abuse victims every day the last week, and thinks more suits are coming.
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