Thursday, July 29, 2010

Pittsburgh Diocese Sued After Suicide

The estate of a former Pittsburgh area man allegedly abused by a priest filed suit today in Allegheny County Court against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh. The lawsuit says that 39 year old Michael Unglo committed suicide May 4 at a Massachusetts facility after the diocese stopped paying for his mental health treatments. Unglo, who grew up in Etna, attempted suicide two other times. Unglo was an altar boy and was allegedly sexually abused in the early 1980's by Richard Dorsch, a priest at All Saints Church in Etna. Dorsch was arrested in 1994 for molesting another boy. Dorsch was sentenced to jail and banned from the ministry.
Unglo attempted suicide in June 2008 and a month later the diocese began paying for his treatment. According to the estate, the diocese sent a final payment of $75,000 on March 17 and indicated there would be no further payments.
In a statement, the diocese said that it had not received notice of the lawsuit.
"Without any legal requirement to do so, the Diocese of Pittsburgh readily provided hundreds of thousands of dollars for counseling and residential treatment for Mr. Unglo in recent years and continued to do so up to the time of his tragic death. The Diocese of Pittsburgh denies any negligence in this matter and cannot accept that any action of the Diocese contributed to or was responsible for his death. The facts of the case will bear this out. Suicide is a complex tragedy that can deeply affect surviving loved ones. We continue to offer our sympathy, prayers and support to all touched by this tragedy."

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