February 01, 2006

Attorney: $45.7 million offer in Spokane church abuse case

Seattle Post-Intelligencer


SPOKANE, Wash. -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection because of sex abuse claims, has offered a $45.7 million settlement to 75 victims of priests, a lawyer said Wednesday.

James Stang of Los Angeles, a lawyer representing a committee of victims, said the committee voted Tuesday night to recommend that the offer by the diocese be accepted.

"This is an important step toward getting the diocese out of bankruptcy," Stang said.

The offer must be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, and by the victims within 120 days, Stang said.

Telephone calls to the diocese office were not immediately returned and an attorney for the diocese declined to confirm the settlement offer. Bishop William Skylstad, who is also head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, scheduled a news conference for noon. The topic was not announced.

Posted by kshaw at February 1, 2006 11:58 AM