July 05, 2005

Judge gives preliminary approval to nation's largest church abuse settlement

Fox 23

BURLINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A judge granted preliminary approval Tuesday to the nation's largest settlement in the church abuse scandal, authorizing a $120 million agreement between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington and hundreds of victims of child-molesting priests and other employees.

The decision by Judge John W. Potter makes immediately available $40 million from diocese assets. The victims and the diocese are suing two insurance companies for the remaining $80 million.

Potter's ruling allows the church and the plaintiff's lawyers to begin advertising the settlement and sets a Nov. 10 deadline for claims to be filed.

"It's such a sensitive issue," plaintiff's attorney Stan Chesley said. "It's the best way to know we have a measure of justice."

The class-action suit was filed in 2003. It accuses the church of a 50-year cover-up of sexual abuse by priests and other employees.

Posted by kshaw at July 5, 2005 07:28 PM