March 10, 2005

Bishop Kinney dismissed from abuse lawsuit

Grand Forks Herald

Associated Press

ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Bishop John Kinney was dismissed from a lawsuit that accuses a former St. Cloud Diocese priest of sexual abuse, and a Stearns County judge ruled there was no evidence Kinney knew the former priest was dangerous.

The diocese and former priest James Thoennes remain defendants in the lawsuit filed by Wayne Eller, according to this week's ruling by District Court Judge Elizabeth Hayden.

Roger Schmitt, an attorney for the diocese, said the diocese was reviewing the ruling and it's too early to know whether it would appeal, the St. Cloud Times reported in its Friday editions.

Eller's attorney, Jeff Anderson, said the diocese previously agreed to two settlement options and that the ruling triggers the higher of the two. Neither Schmitt nor Anderson would disclose the settlement amount, but Anderson called it "modest."

"This is a very important determination by the court for this survivor to put an end to this painful chapter of horror," said Anderson.

Posted by kshaw at March 10, 2005 07:44 PM