Judge allows claims against New Ulm diocese

A judge says three people who claim they were sexually abused by priests can proceed with "public nuisance" claims against the Diocese of New Ulm in southern Minnesota.

Brown County District Court Judge Robert Docherty dismissed some counts in the two lawsuits in a ruling dated March 27. But he ruled the public nuisance claims can go forward.

The plaintiffs' attorneys, Jeff Anderson and Mike Finnegan, successfully used the same strategy in other lawsuits against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis to force top officials to give sworn depositions, including Archbishop John Nienstedt.

Finnegan says New Ulm is the only Minnesota diocese that won't release a full list of its priests that have been credibly accused of child sex abuse. And Nienstedt used to be the bishop in New Ulm.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.