March 10, 2006

88 victims accept offer from church

Boston Globe

By Michael Levenson, Globe Correspondent | March 10, 2006

The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston said yesterday that all 88 people who were offered arbitration to settle claims of sexual abuse by priests had agreed to let an arbitrator decide their compensation. The archdiocese said the awards are expected to average $75,000, about half the average amount that it paid to 554 plaintiffs in a landmark settlement in 2003.

Lawyers for the victims had harshly criticized the archdiocese when the deal was offered in December and said yesterday their clients were still unhappy. But the lawyers said their clients had decided they would rather accept the offer than go through the legal and emotional ordeal of fighting the archdiocese in court.

''They're all just tired," said Carmen L. Durso, who represents 14 of the victims. ''They all just want it to stop."

The deal is an important step for Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley, who has made resolving abuse claims a priority.

Posted by kshaw at March 10, 2006 07:34 AM