Charles Sylvestre's Victim Wins $610K Judgment

April 27, 2011

Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London's article image

LONDON, Ont. -- A former victim of notorious pedophile priest Charles Sylvestre has won a landmark victory in her quest for justice against the London diocese of the Roman Catholic Church.

Chatham woman Kelly Murphy-Myers, 41, was awarded a $610,000 judgment on Thursday as a result of her lawsuit against the diocese — the first lawsuit by a Sylvestre victim to reach trial.

Justice T. David Little wrote in his decision that the hierarchy of the diocese “had to know about Sylvestre’s propensities,” and was negligent in taking no or inadequate steps before appointing him pastor of the parish of St. Ursula’s in Chatham in 1968.

“There was a cover-up by the diocese. There was a cover-up by the Roman Catholic Church itself,” Little wrote. “The cover-up was for the benefit of the diocese and the Church, at the expense of the victim.”

The court heard that the abuse took place in the late 1970s, when Murphy-Myers was between the ages of seven and 10.

Her lawyer, Rob Talach, said the judge’s decision represents the highest level of court to award a female victim of abuse by a Catholic priest in Canadian history.

Talach said the decision will set a precedent for future judgments in abuse cases involving clergy.

Despite the award, Murphy-Myers said the case wasn’t about the money.

“It was about getting them to see, getting my voice heard — and the voices of all victims,” she said.

“For every voice that comes forward, there are 10 others too afraid to speak. So my voice is for those afraid to come forward.”

Types of Damages in a Slip and Fall Accident

May 25, 2022

Types of Damages in a Slip and Fall Accident

If you've been injured as a result of a slip and fall accident, a personal injury lawyer can help. The team at Beckett brings expertise and experience to fight for justice and the compensation you deserve. Our latest blog breaks down the types of damages you can claim.

Read More
Beckett Personal Injury Office In Downtown London

May 4, 2022

Grand Chief reflects on Pope's apology following Vatican visit

A historic week of meetings with Indigenous leaders from across Canada culminated with Pope Francis expressing his “sorrow and shame” for the “deplorable” abuses at residential schools.

Read More
Negligence in Long Term Care Homes

April 27, 2022

Negligence in Long Term Care Homes

When your loved ones are living in a nursing home or long term care home, there is a certain level of care that is required by law to be met. In our latest blog, we break down the different types of negligence claims that can be pursued if care levels are not up to standards.

Read More