Family “reluctantly” sues diocese over alleged murder of son by priest

Family “reluctantly” sues diocese over alleged murder of son by priest

“Slain intern’s family files suit against diocese”

Frustrated with what they see as inaction and lack of concern for victims of clergy sexual abuse, the family of one of the two men likely killed by a Hudson priest in 2002 “reluctantly” filed a wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday against the Diocese of Superior.

The attorney for Carsten and Sally Ellison filed the lawsuit in St. Croix County Circuit Court seeking unspecified damages from the Roman Catholic diocese. The Barron, Wis., family hopes to use any money from a verdict or settlement to establish the James Ellison Foundation for the Protection of Children.

... Hudson funeral director Dan O’Connell and the Ellisons’ 22-year-old son, a University of Minnesota mortuary science intern, were shot to death about five years ago at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home. Investigators say the likely killer was the Rev. Ryan Erickson.

Erickson, who was assigned to St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Hudson at the time of the homicides, had an extensive firearms collection and a history of excessive drinking, mental instability and alleged sexual abuse.

“The lawsuit was filed against the diocese and Bishop (Raphael) Fliss for failure to heed the warning signs of this psychopath and sociopath,” said Jeff Anderson, the St. Paul-based attorney for the Ellisons.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli