Saturday, July 14, 2007

LA Church to pay big for its pedophile priests *

There have been some big settlements so far, but the Los Angeles Archdiocese's agreement to pay $600 million to abuse victims, according to the AP, trumps them all.

Attorneys for the archdiocese and the plaintiffs are expected to announce the deal Monday, the day the first of more than 500 clergy abuse cases was scheduled for jury selection, according to two people with knowledge of the agreement. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because the settlement had not been made public.

The archdiocese and its insurers will pay between $600 million and $650 million to about 500 plaintiffs — an average of $1.2 million to $1.3 million per person. The settlement also calls for the release of confidential priest personnel files after review by a judge assigned to oversee the litigation, the sources said.

This settlement is five years in the making, and I can only hope it will be looked back upon as the moment the Catholic Church washed its hands of the sins of its fathers.

*Updated: The settlement is $60 larger than originally reported, according to the LA Times. "It's been a long, hard slog," church attorney J. Michael Hennigan told the paper. "I'm delighted to see it's come to a conclusion."

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