Kin of dead sex abuse victim sue under new California law

California

FILE – Attorney Jeff Anderson holds up a photo of former priest Stephen Kiesle at a news conference in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010. The family of the late Jim Bartko, who said he was molested as a child by Kiesle, has filed a lawsuit against the Roman Catholic church under a new California law that allows family members of sex abuse victims to bring lawsuits after their deaths. The family of Bartko filed the suit in January 2022 in Alameda County Superior Court against the Diocese of Oakland. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The children of a deceased man who said he was molested as a child by a priest have sued the Roman Catholic church under a new California law that allows survivors to bring lawsuits for the suffering a loved one endured.

The family of Jim Bartko filed the lawsuit last week in Alameda County Superior Court against the Diocese of Oakland.

Bartko, a University of Oregon athletic department administrator, sued the church in 2020 but the case was dismissed when he died a few days later.

His estate sued under a law that allows survivors to collect emotional damages he could have claimed if he prevailed in his case.

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