February 10, 2005

$5M settles priest sex suits

Daily Record

By Abbott Koloff, Daily Record

A group of 26 men who say they were abused by Catholic clergymen, many by a Mendham priest in one of the most notorious cases of clergy abuse in the state, have agreed to an estimated $5 million settlement to end two lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson.

Details were not made public but those involved with the case said on Wednesday that individual plaintiffs will receive settlements that appear to range from $100,000 to $200,000, the amounts determined by a court-appointed mediator and based on the damage suffered by individual plaintiffs. The agreement was reached in late January, those close to the case said, and a notice of settlement was filed in the Morris County Courthouse on Feb. 1.

The settlement is not yet official because not every victim has signed off on it.

Plaintiffs contacted Wednesday said they received copies of the agreement this week and had just signed them and returned them to their attorney. Some said they were not celebrating the agreement as a victory because the diocese refused one of their most important requests -- to make public the personnel files of priests.

Posted by kshaw at February 10, 2005 08:44 AM