Sunday, October 04, 2009

Octgenarians normally lose memory rather than recover it

Octgenarians normally lose memory rather than recover it. But perhaps the prospect of $1,000,000 stimulated two octgenarians' brains and enabled these octogenarians to remember what happened to them more than 60 years ago. See Jeff Diamant, "Six decades later, 2 men accuse nuns of sex abuse," The Star-Ledger Online) (Oct. 3, 2009).
These two octgenarians say they recently recovered recollections of being sexually molested by nuns in the early 1940s. "Coffey, who like Fioretti lived at Sacred Heart from 1937 to 1943, said his memory of being sexually abused returned after he learned on television, in October 2004, that the Newark Archdiocese had settled with victims of sex abuse for $1 million without acknowledging wrongdoing." Id.
The amount of time during which these two plaintiffs' memories were allegedly repressed outstrips even the amount of time involved the case in Massachusetts, the case in which a plaintiff claimed that her memory had been repressed for some 47 years and then recovered it. See Time and Justice in Massachusetts, August 25, 2002.

I had hoped against hope that the "theory" of repressed and recovered memory had been so thoroughly debunked that not even the most entrepreneurial lawyers would venture to file complaints or petitions alleging that their clients had lost their memories for years and then, miraculously and fortuitously, had recovered them. Well, let's hope that New Jersey courts have enough common sense to reject these two claims of much-belated "recoveries" of suppressed memories.

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