Settlement Reached in Case Involving Hundreds of Abuse Claims

Settlement Reached in Case Involving Hundreds of Abuse Claims

( – The Catholic Church has allegedly used various strategies to shield assets from civil tort claims involving abuse claims. For example, the Journal of Catholic Legal Studies reported that critics claimed the Denver Archdiocese incorporated several parishes separately in May 2002 to protect its assets from legal judgments. As stated by Bloomberg in 2020, church leaders have also turned to bankruptcy to avoid paying large settlements. However, the Catholic Church has paid out large claims, as exemplified by a recent settlement in a New Jersey case involving roughly 50 years of sexual abuse.

On Tuesday, April 19, the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, announced it settled with about 300 individuals who accused clergy members of sexually abusing them. The agreement establishes a trust to distribute $87.5 million over 4 years. Jeff Anderson, an attorney representing about one-fourth of the plaintiffs, told The New York Times the settlement represents “a triumph of courage” for survivors.

The head of the diocese, Bishop Dennis Sullivan, apologized to everyone impacted by the abuse. He also pledged to continue his efforts to ensure this situation “never happens again.”

The Camden Diocese recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the settlement is subject to the final approval of the federal judge overseeing that case.

Do you think financial restitution adequately compensates the victims for their suffering?

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