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St. Paul, Minneapolis archdiocese settles with clergy abuse victims for $210M

By Danielle Haynes

May 31 (UPI) -- The Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on Thursday settled hundreds of clergy sex abuse cases for $210 million, lawyers representing the victims announced.

The payment agreement comes after a protracted court battle in which the archdiocese sought bankruptcy protection over the rising costs of the cases. Some 450 victims were expected to split the settlement amount, though not equally.

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Under the agreement, the archdiocese will pay $40 million and the rest of the settlement total will be paid by church insurers, St. Paul attorney Jeff Anderson said in a news conference. A creditors panel will divvy up the money, including lawyers' fees.

Thursday was decades in the making, with some of the cases dating back to the 1960s. Survivors accused the archdiocese of failing to protect them and covering up the years of abuse at the hands of at least 91 clergy members.

It is "a story of trauma and triumph and the pursuit of truth and accountability," Anderson said.

Fifteen archdioceses in the United States have filed bankruptcy amid similar allegations of sexual abuse and subsequent settlements. Four of Minnesota's six dioceses have filed Chapter 11.

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