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Recovered-Memory Victory in Minnesota

June 29th, 2011

The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled on Monday that Jim Keenan can proceed with his recovered-memory lawsuit against the Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis for personal injury and fraud. The court decided that Keenan should be able to present expert testimony that describes “memory repression and the characteristics that are present in an individual suffering from repressed memory.” (Doe 76C v. Archdiocese of St. Paul & Minneapolis; Court of Appeals of Minnesota, June 27, 2011). Overturning the trial court’s decision in the case, the appellate court also concluded that “genuine issues of material fact exist about when appellant was put on notice of a potential fraud claim.” Accordingly, Keenan’s claim that the archdiocese failed to disclose that Father Adamson had a history of sexual abuse will be allowed to go forward. One strong indication that the church knows that this claim is meritorious is that their spokesman is quoted as saying that the church “will continue to try and resolve the matter without the necessity of a trial.”

Pamela Freyd, Executive Director the False Memory Syndrome Foundation, said recently that the FMSF may soon quietly disappear. They apparently think that their work is done.  But the unanimous decision of this three-judge panel once again demonstrates that, fortunately, recovered memory deniers have not won the so-called memory wars. Instead, common sense still prevails at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

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