April 22, 2006

Judge asked to decide on interest total

Altoona Mirror

By Phil Ray, pray@altoonamirror.com

HOLLIDAYSBURG — The lengthy court battle between the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic Diocese and a former Altoona man sexually abused by a priest in the 1980s may be over, but the judge still has a question of interest to answer.

Last weekend, the diocese agreed to pay $1 million in court-awarded punitive damages to Michael Hutchison, 38, who claims a priest sexually abused him when he was a child attending St. Therese’s Catholic Church in Altoona.

Hutchison’s attorney, Richard Serbin of Altoona, said $720,000 in interest should be assessed because the diocese waited so long from the 1994 verdict to agree to pay punitive damages.

Diocesan attorney Eric Anderson of Pittsburgh disagreed, saying a Superior Court decision put the verdict on hold for more than three years.

Posted by kshaw at April 22, 2006 06:47 AM