SAN DIEGO, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego agreed Friday to pay almost $200 million to 144 people who claim sexual abuse by clergy.
Lawyers for the church and plaintiffs were involved in 11 hours of negotiations Thursday that lasted until almost midnight and resumed Friday morning, The San Diego Union-Tribune reported. The settlement totals $198.125 million.
The plaintiffs will receive an average of $1.37 million, slightly more than the $1.3 million in a settlement of a similar series of lawsuits involving the diocese of Los Angeles. They claim they were abused as children by priests or church employees.
Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler had put pressure on church officials to settle, saying that she found some irregularities in the diocesan financial statements. Adler also criticized the diocese’s initial settlement offer of $95 million, made shortly after the bankruptcy filing.