HELENA, Mont. (AP) - A judge says there is nothing preventing 95 people from pursuing their sex-abuse lawsuit in state court against an order of nuns in western Montana.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Terry Myers says in a Friday order the Ursuline Sisters aren't covered by the automatic stay granted to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena when the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Some 362 plaintiffs filed two lawsuits against the diocese and the Ursulines over the abuse between the 1940s and 1970s.
The diocese filed for bankruptcy protection as part of a $15 million settlement with most of the plaintiffs. The Ursulines are not participating in the settlement.
Myers says the Ursulines are a non-debtor co-defendant and a separate "unusual circumstances" finding must be made to stay the case against them.
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