January 03, 2005

Gag Order Lifted on $100M Church Settlement

LOS ANGELES (CA)
ABC 7

LOS ANGELES A judge today lifted a gag order on a now-confirmed $100 million settlement between the Diocese of Orange and plaintiffs in 90 cases of alleged childhood abuse by Catholic clergy.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Owen Lee Kwong praised the "hard work and dedication" the parties showed in mediation of the settlement, which was announced on Dec. 2.

Following the brief court hearing, dozens of attorneys, plaintiffs, representatives for the diocese, including Bishop Tod Brown, attended an at- times tearful news conference.

"This settlement is about the victims," said Ray Boucher, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. "It's about those people that for so many years hid with the guilt and the fear."

Boucher thanked Brown for reaching out to victims under what he called "tremendous pressure" from other bishops, and having the courage to "walk a different road."

Posted by kshaw at January 3, 2005 05:03 PM