The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has reached a $210 million settlement to be shared amongst 450 survivors of clergy sexual abuse as part of its bankruptcy reorganization, according to reports.
The archdiocese filed for bankruptcy in 2015, two years after the Minnesota Legislature opened a three-year window that allowed people who said they had been sexually abused in the past to sue for damages, according to The Associated Press. This netted hundreds of claims filed against the archdiocese.
A formal reorganization plan will now be submitted to a bankruptcy judge for approval, and then it will be sent to the survivors for a vote.
The money will go into a trust fund to pay survivors, with the amount for each person to be determined.
Because of the lawsuit, 91 clerical offenders in the archdiocese have been exposed and listed as credibly accused offenders.
This is the second largest settlement involving the Catholic church in the United States, after a $660 million settlement reached in 2007 by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and 508 people who said they had been abused, according to reports.
There are many different types of abuse that may have been committed by clergy against victims. Clergy misconduct and sexual abuse can include the following:
- Child molestation
- Child pornography
- Indecent exposure
- Lewd or lascivious acts
- Statutory rape
- Sexual assault
- Touching with or without clothing
- Unconsented touching
When a civil lawsuit is filed against a church, the punishment is not jail time, rather it is about recovering monetary damages. Damages can include economic damages, non-economic damages, and possibly punitive damages. Economic damages are those distinguishable as medical bills and lost income. Non-economic damages are what is commonly referred to as “pain and suffering” damages. Many judges and juries award significant sums to survivors of sexual abuse for enduring such pain and suffering on a daily basis.
If you or a loved one has been affected by sexual abuse in the church, our Florida Sexual Abuse Injury Attorneys at Whittel & Melton are ready to seek justice on your behalf. Call us today at 866-608-5529 or contact us online to request a free consultation with us where we can walk you through what to expect for your particular case.