City’s diocese faces another abuse lawsuit

April 3, 2003

Alamedia Times
Southern California man accuses former priest who was ‘forced into retirement’ in1991

By Kristin Bender

Thursday, April 03, 2003 – OAKLAND — Already facing several lawsuits stemming from decades-old alleged clergy sexual abuse, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland has been slapped with yet another suit involving a priest who served at parishes in six East Bay cities.

The alleged victim, Michael Martell, a 43-year-old Southern California man, said he hired Hayward-based attorney Rick Simons and Stockton-based attorney David Drivon to file a civil lawsuit against former Concord priest Donald Eugene Broderson after years of suffering.

“As a young teenager, the amount of shame, the amount of hurt and what he took away from me as a young boy is unexplainable,” Martell said on the steps of Alameda County Superior Court, where the suit was filed Wednesday. “I think it’s im- portant that I come forward, it’s part of my healing process and I want to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Sister Barbara Flannery, the diocese chancellor, said Wednesday that she had not seen the suit and could not comment on the specifics of it. However, she did confirm Broderson was “forced into retirement” in 1991 and officially retired a few years later.

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