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Husted v. Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii

United States District Court, D. Hawaii

December 9, 2014

DAVID HUSTED, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH IN THE STATE OF HAWAII, et al., Defendants

In Re Michele M Betti, In Re: Motion to Revoke Pro Hac Vice Application of Michele Betti: Della A. Belatti, LEAD ATTORNEY, Eric A. Seitz, AAL, ALC, Honolulu, HI; Eric A. Seitz, LEAD ATTORNEY, A Law Corporation, Honolulu, HI; Sarah R. Devine, LEAD ATTORNEY, Eric A. Seitz, Attorney at Law, Honolulu, HI.

For David Husted, Jr., an individual, Plaintiff: Jared A. Washkowitz, LEAD ATTORNEY, JAW Legal, Honolulu, HI; Michele M. Betti, LEAD ATTORNEY, PRO HAC VICE, Law Offices of Betti & Associates, Encinitas, CA.

For Roman Catholic Church in the State of Hawaii, also known as Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu, Defendant: David A. Gruebner, Gary S. Miyamoto, Monica Keiko Suematsu, Stephen G. Dyer, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Ayabe Chong Nishimoto Sia & Nakamura LLLP, Honolulu, HI.

For The Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y., Defendant: David Y. Suzuki, Steven Edward Tom, William A. Bordner, LEAD ATTORNEYS, Burke McPheeters Bordner & Estes, Honolulu, Hi.

For Southern Tier Catholic School Archbishop Walsh Academy, Defendant: Stefan M. Reinke, LEAD ATTORNEY, Lyons Brandt Cook & Hiramatsu, Honolulu, Hi.

For The Southdown Institute, Defendant: Sergio Rufo, LEAD ATTORNEY, Rufo Law Group LLLC, Honolulu, HI.

ORDER DENYING THE SOUTHDOWN INSTITUTE'S MOTION TO DISMISS

Susan Oki Mollway, Chief United States District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION.

Defendant The Southdown Institute (" Southdown") moves to dismiss the claims asserted against it in Plaintiff David Husted, Jr.'s Complaint filed on April 11, 2014. The motion to dismiss is denied.

II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND.

Husted alleges that he was sexually abused from 1979 to 1982 by Defendant James A. Spielman while Husted was a student at Archbishop Walsh High School. ECF No. 1, PageID # 2, 3-4. According to Husted, Spielman was treated by Southdown, an organization in Ontario, Canada, that provides support for members of the clergy with addiction and mental health issues. Id., PageID # 4. Husted alleges that " sometime between 1970 and 1993 Perpetrator Spielman was assigned to The Southdown Institute in Ontario, Canada specifically to address his issues with addiction and mental health relating to the sexual abuse of minors." Id., PageID # 10. Plaintiff contends that Southdown " knew and/or should have known the Perpetrator was not fit to serve in ministry involving interactions with children yet released him back into ministry." Id., PageID # 5.

Husted's Complaint asserts the following claims against Southdown: (1) offensive physical contact/childhood sexual assault; (2) imminent battery; (3) gross negligence; (4) negligent supervision/failure to warn; (5) negligent hiring/retention; (6) fraud; (7) negligent infliction of emotional distress; (8) intentional infliction of emotional distress; (9) premises liability; (10) punitive damages. Id., PageID # 16-33.

Southdown now seeks dismissal of the claims against it in Husted's Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. See ECF No. 39. Southdown argues that Husted's Complaint shows that Spielman could not have been assigned to Southdown until after 1983, by which time the alleged abuse had ceased. Id., PageID # 252-53. On that basis, Southdown contends that " Plaintiff has failed to allege that Defendant Southdown either could have prevented Defendant Spielman's alleged abuse of Plaintiff prior to or between 1979 and 1982 or ...


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