March 24, 2006

Diocese facing $1M in damages

The Tribune-Democrat

The Tribune-Democrat

The Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic Diocese will decide in the next 30 days whether to pay $1 million in punitive damages in a sex-abuse case or appeal to the state Supreme Court.

State Superior Court this week upheld the damages, first awarded 12 years ago by a Blair County jury that found the diocese negligent in supervising its employee, Francis Luddy, who was accused of sexually abusing Michael Hutchison Jr., formerly of Altoona.

“While the diocese is disappointed with the ruling and disagrees with it on a legal basis, it acknowledges the suffering the Hutchison family has en-dured,” the diocese said in a statement released Thursday.

“Our prayers for their healing continue,” the statement said.

Posted by kshaw at March 24, 2006 07:12 AM