Boston Archdiocese settles for $85 million

Sept. 10, 2003 at 1:38 PM
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BOSTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- Boston's Archbishop Sean O'Malley promised quick action on hundreds of priest molestation cases and in three months he reached an $85 million settlement.

Before O'Malley replaced Cardinal Bernard Law, last July, Law's lawyers tried to seal court files, subpoenaed therapists' notes and threatened to seek bankruptcy protection for the lawsuits, some dating back 10 years, USA Today reported.

O'Malley brought in his own attorney to the negotiations and two weeks ago the archdiocese made an initial offer of $55 million, while the 522 plaintiffs had sought $120 million.

Under the agreement, a mediator will determine individual payments ranging from $80,000 to $300,000, based on the parameters of each case.

Also as part of the settlement, the archdiocese will appoint victims to advisory boards monitoring abuse policies. The archdiocese also agreed to fund psychological and spiritual counseling.

"Archbishop O'Malley ... listened to each and every person. I truly believe it is going to bring peace to many individuals," said Mitchell Garabedian, an attorney for more than 100 plaintiffs.

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