A lawyer for a victim of child sex abuse at the hands of the Christian Brothers says the landmark $1 million settlement could open the door for more cases.
A landmark $1 million settlement for historical child sex abuse committed by members of the Christian Brothers could lead to more claims out of Western Australia.
Paul Bradshaw, 74, was abused at Castledare Junior Orphanage and Clontarf Orphanage in the 1950s and 60s by Brothers Lawrence Murphy, Bruno Doyle and Christopher Angus, who are all dead.
The terminally ill man, who reached a settlement in the WA District Court on Thursday with the Trustees of the Christian Brothers, is the first person to claim damages under new WA laws that remove the time limit for compensation in such cases.
The Christian Brothers have paid a total of $48.5 million to 763 victims, with an average payment of $64,000, the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse previously heard.
Mr Bradshaw cried outside court, saying he had lived on the street most of his life and did not want his family to do the same.
“I’m just hoping now that this has been settled and I can get on with my last six months in peace,” he said.
“I will die happy now knowing that I can care for my family.”
Lawyer Michael Magazanik described it as a landmark case and said his firm was working on about 60 other similar matters in WA.
Mr Bradshaw said it was never about money.
“I just wanted the apology of the Christian Brothers.”
Mr Bradshaw’s claims of abuse were twice dismissed as a child and when he later told a judge about it he was labelled a liar and put in a psychiatric hospital, Mr Magazanik said.
In the 1990s, Mr Bradshaw was also involved in the prosecution of Brother Murphy, but the case was eventually dropped and he died without facing justice.