May 19, 2005

Plaintiff, Stockton diocese reach $3 million agreement in O'Grady case

Mercury News

Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Stockton and lawyers for a victim of abuse by a former priest have agreed to settle a pending civil claim for $3 million, an attorney said Thursday.

The unidentified victim accused the diocese of failing to protect him from a known molester, Oliver O'Grady, who served as a priest at St. Anne's in Lodi in the 1970s. The diocese has already paid more than $10 million for claims involving O'Grady.

A statement from Stockton Bishop Stephen Blaire said the diocese was pleased to "bring this matter to closure," and it looked forward to continuing "to reach fair and just resolutions for the victims of childhood sexual abuse."

The agreement was reached late Wednesday, according to plaintiff's lawyer John Manly. However, the victim did not give up his right to sue O'Grady as an individual. A trial was expected to begin this summer, Manly said.

"It's very clear that there were many priests, like Father O'Grady, who were serial pedophiles who spent as much time in ministry as they did hurting kids," Manly said. "My client's abuse is horrific and without his courage to come out of the shadows, none of this would have been possible."

Posted by kshaw at May 19, 2005 08:06 PM