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Settlements


All of the settlements listed below were agreed to by either Roman Catholic bishops, Roman Catholic Dioceses, Roman Catholic Archdioceses, or Roman Catholic Religious Orders. All of the plaintiffs in the cases below were raped, sodomized, sexually ritualized, or otherwise sexually molested by a member of the Roman Catholic clergy or a Roman Catholic religious order including 'Brothers', Friars, and nuns.

The list below is only a sampling of the Catholic settlements and does not include the countless "secret settlements" or "hush money" paid out for years by bishops who responded to abuse allegations by writing a check with an accompanying contract requiring silence by the victim. Many of these secret settlements were much lower in dollar-amount than those reached with professional legal assistance. In many if not all cases of secret contracts, bishops and diocesan personnel informed the individual or family bringing forth allegations that they had not received any other complaints about the accused sex offender and then assured the victim and/or family members that the accused priest would no longer be allowed to work with children. And then they transferred the accused to another school or parish or orphanage.

In the cases of a jury trial, it seems members of juries who hear the entire case award victims of clergy sexual abuse substantially more money than the church typically offers or agrees to in settlements. The Church has made it clear it would much rather settle out of court. A settlement might spare the hierarchy and other diocesan personnel from being deposed, cross-examined, or releasing certain documents in question. They also risk having juries award monetary damages more consistent with the abuse by both the sex-offender and the bishop.


2011

November: The Archdiocese of Chicago reached a settlement with one of Daniel McCormack's victims for $3.2 million.


2009

May: A woman from Ontario, Canada, who was repeatedly raped by a Roman Catholic priest while she was a girl has received what is believed to be the largest individual settlement in a sexual abuse case in Canada - $2 million.

March: The Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth reached a settlement agreement for $775,000 through mediation of claims brought against the diocese by five persons who were abused by James Reilly, a priest of the diocese, now deceased, and in one of the cases there was also alleged abuse by James Hanlon and Gerard Scholl, also priests of the diocese, now deceased.

February: The Catholic Diocese of Memphis agreed to pay $1.55 million for its part of a $2 million settlement in a priest sex-abuse case..

January: Thirteen men who were abused as students attending Briscoe Memorial School in Kent, Washington, reached a $7 million settlement with the Seattle Roman Catholic Archdiocese, which owned the school, and the Congregation of Christian Brothers, the religious order that ran it.


2008

December: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago agreed on a settlement in a child molestation lawsuit. The Archdiocese paid $1.2 million to settle the lawsuit filed by the family of a boy who was sexually abused by former priest Daniel McCormack.

October: The Catholic Diocese of Pueblo and the Marianist religious order have agreed to pay $4 million to settle the claims of 23 men who were sexually abused when they attended a Catholic high school in Pueblo.

September: In a settlement case between Kenneth Whitwell and Catholic priest J. Smith, the Wilmington federal court awarded $41 million to the Navy doctor, Whitwell, for the damages he has faced from the priest during his childhood.

September: In a settlement case between three women (including one from Chicago) and a Roman Catholic nun, the court has awarded the sisters an amount of $400,000 for the damages that they had faced from the nun during their childhood.


2007

December: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport agreed Monday to pay out $37 million to more than 150 sex abuse victims.

November: A single plaintiff from the state of Washington reached a settlement with the Congregation of Christian Brothers and the Seattle Archdiocese, each being responsible for paying half of the $1.1 million settlement. Court Documents show some church leaders knew for years that Brother Edward Courtney sexually abused students, yet allowed him to continue teaching at school after school.

November: Ken Roosa, an Anchorage lawyer representing 110 Alaska Natives sexually abused at the hands of Jesuit priests, has reported a tentative settlement of $50 million with an Oregon-based Jesuit province.

October: The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed to pay $198 million to 144 victims of clergy sexual abuse, at the time the second largest payment since the scandal erupted in 2002.

August: The circuit judge in Dorchester County approved a $12 million settlement agreement between the Catholic Diocese of Charleston and victims of sexual abuse.

July: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles agreed to pay $660 million to 508 victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

May: The Rockford Diocese in Illinois reached a settlement for $2.2 million with two victims of sexual abuse by clergy.

May: A St. Louis man reached a settlement worth $140,000 against the Archdiocese of St. Louis, the Jesuits of the Missouri Province and the Redemptorists Denver Province, with each paying a third after mediation.

April: Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland agreed to pay $75 million to victims of priest sex abuse

February: Bishop Robert J. Baker announced the settlement of a class action lawsuit which was filed against the Diocese of Charleston on behalf of victims of sexual abuse by church personnel.


2006

November: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in the northwest U.S. state of Oregon has settled with around 150 people who were abused by priests, authorities said.

October: The Los Angeles Archdiocese and a Roman Catholic religious order agreed to pay $10 million to several people to settle allegations of clergy sex abuse.


2005

October: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford agreed to pay $22 million to 43 people who were sexually abused by priests, the archdiocese and a lawyer representing some of the victims said Monday.

The Diocese in Vermont reached a $985,000 settlement with one lawsuit.

June: The Sacramento Catholic Diocese announced a multi-million-dollar sexual abuse settlement, amount undisclosed.

May: The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown and Greensburg Diocese, both in Pennsylvania, agreed to a settlement of an undisclosed amount with one plaintiff who was sexually molested by three priests.

April: The Diocese of Manchester, N.H., reached a six-figure settlement with four plaintiffs who suffered sexual abuse by three priests.

April: The Santa Rosa Diocese in California reached a $3.3 million settlement with a single plaintiff for the sexual abuse she suffered by a priest.

April: The Fort Worth Diocese in Texas and the Worcester Diocese in Massachusetts settled for $1.4 million with one plaintiff who was sexually abused by a priest. The same dioceses settled with another plaintiff who was abused by the same priest for $2.75 million. The money was to be paid by the Fort Worth Diocese.

April: The Peoria Diocese in Illinois settled with one plaintiff who was sexually abused by three priests for an undisclosed amount.

March: The Diocese of Fairbanks, Alaska, and the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Oregon province and the Alaska Jesuit order settled with one plaintiff for $1 million for the sexual abuse he suffered by one priest.

March: The Diocese of Sioux City in Iowa settled for an undisclosed amount with 16 plaintiffs who suffered sexual abuse by two priests.

March: The San Francisco Archdiocese settled for $437,000 with one plaintiff who suffered sexual abuse by one priest.

March: The Stockton Diocese in California agreed to pay $3.6 million to two plaintiffs for the sexual abused inflicted by one priest.

February: The Archdiocese of Miami and the Diocese of Venice, both in Florida, reached a settlement with three plaintiffs who were sexually abused by one priest for $1.1 million.


2004

December: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange reached an out-of-court settlement with 87 victims of molestation by church officials, including priests, nuns and even a church choir master.

April: The Burlington Diocese in Vermont agreed to a settlement of $150,000 with a single plaintiff who was sexually abused by priest Alfred Willis who was employed by the diocese. The diocese acknowledged as part of the settlement that Bishop John Marshall had transferred Willis to a new parish despite recurring allegations of sexual misconduct with minors. Willis must pay the plaintiff an additional $20,000.

The Diocese of Springfield settled abuse cases for $7.7 million.


2003

October: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport, CT, announced a $21 million settlement with 40 plaintiffs who were molested by 16 diocesan priests when they were children.

September: The Boston Archdiocese reached an $85 million settlement with 552 victims.

June: The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville agreed to pay $25.7 million to settle child sexual-abuse allegations made by 243 plaintiffs naming 34 priests and other church workers.

May: The Diocese of Manchester, N.H., reached a $6.5 million settlement with 61 people.


2002

September: The Boston Archdiocese settled with 86 victims of former priest John Geoghan for $10 million.

September: The Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence reached a $13.5 million settlement in 36 victims of sexual-abuse.

September: The Jesuit order paid $7.5 million to two victims.

January: The Tucson Diocese paid $14 million to 16 victims in January.


2001

The Diocese of Orange and Ardiocese of Los Angeles paid $5.2 million to one plaintiff who was sexually abused as a teen by a priest.


1999

A Jury awarded $30 million to two brothers molested for more than a decade by the Rev. Oliver Francis O'Grady in the Diocese of Stockton, Calif. The award was later reduced to $13 million. (Note: Roger Mahoney was the bishop of the Stockton Diocese at the time of O'Grady's crimes. He was later promoted to Cardinal and is currently the Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.)


 

1998

The Diocese of Lafayette, La., paid at least $18 million to families of children molested by priest Gilbert Gauthe.

Twelve victims of ex-priest Rudy Kos agreed to reduced settlement of about $31 million with the Diocese of Dallas after jury awarded them more than $100 million.


1996

The Archdiocese of St. Louis reached a settlement with a single plaintiff for $125,000. The victim was a seminary student when he went to then-rector Anthony J. O'Connell for help after being molested by two other priests. Instead of helping the young man, O'Connell sexually assaulted him. Three years after this settlement, Pope John Paul II appointed O'Connell as the bishop of the Palm Beach Diocese to "help it heal" after the resignation of the diocese's Bishop Joseph Keith Symons, who admitted he had sexually molested five boys.


Date as yet Undetermined

The Diocese of London agreed to pay more than $2 million to a woman who suffered long-time sexual abuse from her priest while she was a child.

The Diocese of Orange reached a settlement with lawyers representing clergy sexual abuse victims for $100 million.

Archbishop Rembert Weakland of the Milwaukee Archdiocese paid a secret settlement to a man he sexually abused when a student at Marquette University. The amount of the settlement was $450,000.

 


For More Information:

Secret settlements protected Roman Catholic priests and leaders
News Summary: "Settlements kept scope of issue out of public eye" Boston Globe January 31, 2002
By Rick Ross on April 11, 2006; www.rickross.com

 

Diocese sell property, reduce staffs to pay abuse settlements
By Carol Zimmermann, Catholic News Service

To date, the sexual abuse scandal has cost the Roman Catholic Church well over $2 billion.


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