Survivors of clergy sexual abuse, including BGL client, courageously testify in Archdiocese of Baltimore bankruptcy case. Another BGL client introduced the speakers.

As covered by The Baltimore Banner and The Baltimore Sun, BGL client Thomas Carney was one of six survivors of child sexual abuse by Catholic clergy who eloquently described the effects of their abuse to the judge presiding over the bankruptcy proceedings of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. Both articles also feature BGL client, Paul Jan Zdunek, who chairs the Creditors’ Committee – a group of survivors representing the interests of all survivors with claims of child sex abuse against priests and clergy associated with the Archdiocese of Baltimore.  Mr. Zdunek introduced the speakers to the Court. 

Attorneys representing the survivors’ committee advocated for allowing survivors to share their stories in court and allow their voices to be heard.

In testifying, Mr. Carney said that he was taught as a young Catholic that God was omnipotent and omnipresent and would not allow his followers to be harmed. Mr. Carney believed this and had put his trust in his pastor and teachers, only to experience sexual abuse by those he trusted.  His body remains alive, he said, but his purpose for living is lost.

“The nightmares are still alive and well in my brain,” Mr. Carney said. “On the day that I was sexually victimized, my life changed forever.”

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michelle M. Harner has scheduled a second hearing for May 20 to hear from additional survivors.

Mr. Zdunek, who delivered opening and closing remarks on behalf of the Creditors Committee, described the hearing as an opportunity to “share the humanity behind the headlines.” “As we all continue to move through the legal journey ahead, we must remember that these were not just stories about moments in time — but are moments in time that have been seared into the souls of these now adult children,” Mr. Zdunek said. 

“While some of them may have forgiven their predators, none of them will ever forget what happened to them,” he continued.  “And neither should we.”

Clergy sexual abuse survivors have until May 31, 2024 to file a claim in the bankruptcy case.

Navigating the claims process and recounting the trauma of sexual abuse can be difficult and overwhelming, but the attorneys at Brown, Goldstein & Levy are here to help. We have vast experience litigating difficult sexual assault cases and have won million-dollar and multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements in favor of survivors. We are currently representing scores of survivors with claims against the Archdiocese of Baltimore (including clients who signed releases with the Archdiocese in the past), the Archdiocese of Washington, the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services, numerous private and public schools, and other institutions.

If you believe you have a claim of sexual abuse against the Archdiocese of Baltimore, do not hesitate to contact us for a confidential consultation.


Andy Freeman obtains justice for his clients. He has won numerous verdicts, judgments, and settlements of millions, tens of millions, and in one case over a billion dollars by mastering the relevant law and getting to know his clients, their problems, and the evidence in their cases. In one case, Andy won a verdict of $15 million for a survivor of child sexual abuse. In another trial, he secured a $1 million verdict in a counter-suit on behalf of a girl who was sexually abused by a lawyer, after the lawyer-abuser sued for defamation—a result that was recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the “Top Wins of 2000.” Andy has long been a tenacious advocate for the wellbeing of children, both inside and outside of court. He has served as a board member and board president of the Family Tree (formerly the Child Abuse Prevention Center of Maryland) and of the Family League of Baltimore City, and as a board member for Safe and Sound: Baltimore’s Campaign for Children, Youth and Families. Andy was also a volunteer with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Baltimore, a nonprofit that fights for the best interests of abused and neglected children involved in Baltimore’s foster care system, which awarded him multiple CASA Recognition Awards, and he and his wife (the former Executive Director of the Baltimore Child Abuse Center) were Baltimore City foster parents.

Founded in 1982, Brown, Goldstein & Levy is a law firm based in Baltimore, Maryland, with an office in Washington, D.C. The firm is nationally recognized in a wide variety of practice areas, including complex civil and commercial litigation, civil rights, health care, family law, and criminal defense. Above all else, Brown, Goldstein & Levy is a client-centered law firm that brings decades of experience and passionate, effective advocacy to your fight for justice.