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Case Style: Kenneth Whitwell v. Archmere Academy, Inc., et al.
Case Number: 1:05-cv-00796-SLR
Judge: Sue Robinson
Court: United States District Court for the District of Delaware(New Castle County)
Anthony G. Flynn of Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, Wilmington, Delaware and Neilli M. Walsh of Young, Conaway, Stargatt & Taylor, Wilmington, Delaware for the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Inc. and Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli
Kenneth Whitwell, age 39, sued Archmere Academy, Inc.; Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Inc.; Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli; and Rev. Edward J. Smith claiming that Smith sexually abused him when he attended Archmere Academy as a teenager and Archmere Academy, Inc.; Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Inc.; Rev. Michael A. Saltarelli for negligently failing to protect him from Smith. Whitwell claimed that Smith began molesting him in 1982, when he was a 14-year-old freshman and Smith was his religion teacher. Plaintiff testified that he repressed any memory of his sexual abuse until 2000, when it surfaced unexpectedly during a heated argument with his wife, and that he did not realize until resuming therapy in 2003 that his emotional problems were caused by his childhood trauma. Smith began working at Archmere two years after he was removed as principal at St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia amid allegations of sexually abusing children there. Whitwell claimed that Smith raped and sodomized him more than 230 times.
Defendants asserted the statute of limitations.
Outcome: Smith defaulted. Plaintiff's verdict for $41 million including $6 million in compensatory damages and $35 million in punitive damages against Smith only. The Court dismissed Archmere, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington and Bishop Michael Saltarelli as defendants in the lawsuit.
Plaintiff's Experts: Unavailable
Defendant's Experts: Unavailable
Comments: Editor's Note: Absent appellate court relief on Judge Robinsons summary judgments in favor of the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington Inc. and others, any judgment in favor of Whitwell will probably not be collectible.