January 05, 2005

California Diocese Settles Sexual Abuse Case for $100 Million

The New York Times


Published: January 5, 2005

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 4 - Twenty-six years after he was sexually abused by a priest, there is still a catch, almost imperceptible, in Max Fisher's voice when he talks about it.

The man who assaulted him is dead, but Mr. Fisher said Tuesday that he only felt a measure of vindication now that he and 89 other plaintiffs who contended they were abused by Roman Catholic priests and other church employees in Orange County had received a public apology from a bishop.

Mr. Fisher said that for him, the apology, from Bishop Tod D. Brown of the Diocese of Orange at a court hearing on Monday, trumped the announcement of a record $100 million settlement between the diocese and the 90 plaintiffs who came forward to say they were abused in the county's parishes, in some cases decades ago.

"I'm more pleased with the fact that I got what I was after, which wasn't money, but an apology from the church," Mr. Fisher, 40, said by telephone. "The bishop pulled me aside and said, 'I'm deeply sorry that this happened.' That meant more to me than anything."

Posted by kshaw at January 5, 2005 06:57 AM