A Legion of Christ lawsuit will be allowed to continue for the Rhode Island family of a deceased Yale University professor who left his entire estate to the Legion of Christ Church. The lawsuit claims that James Boa-Teh-Chu was “coerced, defrauded and deceived into signing over many of his asset to the Legion.”
According to ABC News on Jan. 22, the late mechanical engineering professor’s son, Paul Chu, should be allowed to sue the Legion of Christ for his father’s estate, which is worth over $1 million and which was left in its entire to the Legion.
When the late professor left his estate to the Legion the lawsuit claims he was under the belief that the leader of the Legion, the late Rev. Marcial Maciel, was a saint, which may not be the case. Maciel was being investigated for allegations of sex abuse. The Vatican took over the order in 2013 with the pope ordering a “wholesome reform.”
The Legion has denied the allegations set forth in Chu's lawsuit, saying that the estate was left to them without any coercing. They have also taken a stand that Paul Chu had no right to sue the Legion for his father’s estate, but a judge saw this differently.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan said the Paul Chu does have the standing to sue and recommends that the lawsuit be allowed to go forth. Another Judge, U.S. District Judge Ronald Lagueux has the final say in the matter and both sides still have the option to file their objections with him before he sets out to make the decision.
Sullivan’s place is not to address the merits of the claims of what Paul Chu is suing for, she only decided on Chu having the standing. It is his right to sue the Legion is the decision she made. Whether or on he will recoup any of his father’s estate, that comes under Judge Laguex when the lawsuit progresses.
Chu’s father held the Legion’s leader, Rev. Marcial Maciel in high regard. It wasn’t until after the death of his father that Chu obtained documents showing that at the time his father was idolizing the priest, the church was fostering the saintly-like image of the man to his father.
They did this even though they were aware at the time of facts that were uncovered by the investigation by the Vatican. Apparently Chu believes his father might have thought differently about leaving his estate to the Legend if he had known these facts.