San Diego Diocese Agrees to Pay Sex Abuse Victims $198 Million
San Diego's Catholic diocese has agreed to pay $198 million to victims of alleged sex abuse by priests. Attorneys for victims and the diocese have a deal that will avert jury trials. KPBS reporter Ali
San Diego's Catholic diocese has agreed to pay $198 million to victims of alleged sex abuse by priests. Attorneys for victims and the diocese have a deal that will avert jury trials. KPBS reporter Alison St. John is at a media briefing downtown. She says the San Diego settlement is among the largest in a nationwide scandal plaguing the Catholic church.
<b> St John </b> : This is actually very close to what the Los Angeles diocese settled for where the average was $1.3 million per plaintiff, so if you do the math, and you divide $198 million by 144 sexual abuse victims, that is about the same as the Los Angeles settlement.
KPBS reporter Alison St John downtown. She says the issue of disclosure about individual cases is not resolved in the settlement. Victims want the diocese to release names and documents that prove their abuse claims. Alison says the diocese wants the settlement to help victims move on with their lives.
<b> St John </b> : Bishop Brom has released a statement saying that he prays the settlement will bring some closure and healing to the years of suffering experienced by the victims.
In February, the diocese filed for bankruptcy just hours before the first abuse case was headed for trial. Church officials offered $95 million to victims. The victims refused. They asked for $200 million.
Today's settlement ends four years of negotiations. The judge has recently threatened to throw out the church's case if neither side could reach a deal.