Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bouchard v. New York Archdiocese

October 24, 2006

ANGIE BOUCHARD, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NEW YORK ARCHDIOCESE, CARDINAL JOHN EGAN, CHURCH OF OUR SAVIOR, FR. KENNEDY, FR. : "JOHN DOE", AND "JOHN DOE" RELIGIOUS ORDER, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Haight, Senior United States District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Angie Bouchard has sued Defendants for alleged misconduct relating to certain sexual transgressions she claims she suffered at the hands of Defendant Father Fernando Kennedy, a Catholic priest. The action was commenced by the filing of a summons and notice in New York State court on August 31, 2004, and was subsequently removed to this Court on the ground of diversity of citizenship.

Currently pending before the Court are two motions by Defendants. First, the Archdiocese of New York s/h/a New York Archdiocese, Edward Cardinal Egan s/h/a Cardinal John Egan, and the Church of Our Savior (collectively, "the Church Defendants")*fn1 move for summary judgment in their favor on the ground that the Plaintiff's two surviving claims are time-barred by the applicable statutes of limitations. Second, a motion is made on behalf of Cardinal Egan alone for reconsideration or reargument of that portion of the Court's prior opinion, reported at 2006 WL 1375232 (S.D.N.Y. May 18, 2006) ("Bouchard I"), denying Cardinal Egan's motions to dismiss and/or for summary judgment.

For the reasons that follow, the Church Defendants' motion asserting time bar is granted in part and denied in part. Cardinal Egan's motion is granted and summary judgment will be entered dismissing the complaint against him.

I. BACKGROUND

The relevant factual background of this action is set forth in detail in Bouchard I, familiarity with which is assumed. For present purposes, it is sufficient to state that Plaintiff alleged in her Amended Complaint that Fr. Kennedy sexually abused her while he was employed at the Church of Our Savior, a parish within the New York Archdiocese, and that the Church Defendants were liable for Kennedy's improper acts, based upon a number of legal theories.

Bouchard I decided motions made by the Church Defendants to dismiss the Plaintiff's claims pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6), or in the alternative for summary judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 56. Specifically, Bouchard I dismissed Plaintiff's claim against the Church Defendants for the intentional tort of battery, see 2006 WL 1375232, at *4; declined to dismiss her claim against those Defendants for their negligent hiring, supervision, or retention of Fr. Kennedy, id. at *4-5; dismissed her claim against those Defendants for negligent infliction of emotional distress but declined to do so with respect to her claim for intentional infliction of emotional distress, id. at *5-6; dismissed her claim against those Defendants for breach of a fiduciary duty, id. at *6-7; and denied the Church Defendants' motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff's claim for negligent hiring, supervision, or retention, id. at *7-9. These decisions were made on the basis of the record then before the Court. As will appear in the Discussion in Part II, that record has been expanded by subsequent submissions.

II. DISCUSSION

A. The Motion for Summary Judgment Based on the Statutes of Limitations

The Church Defendants have moved for summary judgment in their favor pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 56 on the ground that Plaintiff's claims are time-barred by the applicable statutes of limitations.*fn2

1. Standard of Review

Summary judgment shall be granted "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). See also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). The party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material fact; this burden is satisfied if the moving party can point to the absence of evidence necessary to support an essential element of the non-moving party's claim. Goenaga v. March of Dimes Birth Defects Found., 51 F.3d 14, 18 (2d Cir. 1995). If "as to the issue on which summary judgment is sought, there is any evidence in the record from any source from which a reasonable inference could be drawn in favor of the non-moving party," then summary judgment should not be granted. Chambers v. TRM Copy Ctrs. Corp., 43 F.3d 29, 37 (2d Cir. 1994). The substantive law will identify which facts are material. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986) ("Only disputes over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude the entry of summary judgment.").

An adverse party resisting summary judgment "may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of the adverse party's pleading, but the adverse party's response, by affidavits or as otherwise provided in this rule, must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e).

2. Propriety of Summary Judgment

a. Negligent Hiring/Supervision Claim

The applicable statute of limitations for a negligent hiring or supervision claim is three years. N.Y. C.P.L.R. § 214(5). See, e.g., Green v. Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, 718 N.Y.S.2d 324 (App. Div. 1st Dep't 2000). The statute of limitations begins to run from the date of the commission of the act or injury complained of. See Marino v. Proch, 258 A.D.2d 628 (N.Y. App. Div. 2d Dep't 1999).

The Church Defendants argue that the allegations made against Fr. Kennedy in the Amended Complaint relate to misconduct purportedly occurring in July and August of 2001. Therefore, according to the Church Defendants, since Plaintiff did not file her action until August 31, 2004, Plaintiff's claims are barred by the three-year statute of limitations.

However, Plaintiff contests the Church Defendants' contention that alleged sexual misconduct did not occur after August 30, 2001. Plaintiff has submitted a sworn affidavit stating that she "had involvement with and was molested by Fr. Fernando Kennedy in July, August and September 2001." Affidavit of Plaintiff Angie Bouchard, dated July 5, 2006, ¶ 2 (emphasis added). She further asserts that "the last of my face to face meetings and physically abusive experiences with Fr. Kennedy occurred from September 3 to September 7, 2001, and Fr. Kennedy was still working at and in the Church of Our Savior during this time." Id., ¶ 4.

Moreover, Plaintiff has controverted the assertion in the Church Defendants' statement of uncontested facts that "[t]he alleged incidents of sex abuse . . . occurred during July and August 2001," as averred in the Church Defendants' Statement Pursuant to Local Civil Rule 56.1, dated June 7, 2006, ΒΆ 2. Plaintiff's statement of uncontested facts asserts that "[t]he plaintiff was molested and sexually abused by Fr. Kennedy in September, 2001, and specifically during the time period from ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.