February 19, 2005

No resolution in settlement of abuse cases

Contra Costa Times

By Randy Myers

OAKLAND - Settlement talks in the Oakland Diocese lawsuits about sexual abuse probably will extend into next week, moving from a Pleasanton hotel to a larger Concord venue to accommodate an influx of lawyers and victims.

Mediation will begin next week for nearly all of the more than 150 Northern California diocesan sexual abuse cases. Lawyers and victims will meet at the Concord Hotel and Conference Center, near Buchanan Field.

Sacramento Diocese settlement talks are planned for mid-March. Santa Rosa's negotiations, which began in Pleasanton, will continue in Concord.

Larger conference room space was needed to make room for as many as four simultaneous sessions that could take place there, said Rick Simons, lead plaintiff attorney. Attorneys for the plaintiffs, the church and insurance companies, and more victims are expected to jam into the hotel.

Roughly a third of the Northern Californian sexual abuse cases involving 24 priests are tied to the Oakland Diocese. Forty-four of those cases are in mediation, estimated the Rev. Mark Wiesner of the Oakland Diocese.

Posted by kshaw at February 19, 2005 06:05 AM