Diocese in Ky. Settles 7 Claims

By Kevin Eigelbach
The Cincinnati Post [Kentucky]
Downloaded January 28, 2004

Since early last December, seven more people have settled claims alleging sexual abuse at the hands of employees of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.

That brings to 39 the total number of victims the diocese has settled with since September, said Carrie Huff, a Chicago attorney working for the diocese.

It also brings to $8.3 million the amount of money that the diocese has paid to settle claims since September, she said.

The average payout for the Covington Diocese has been $212,820 per person, nearly twice as much as the $105,761 average for the Archdiocese of Louisville, which paid $25.7 million to settle 243 lawsuits last June.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has set aside $3 million to pay claims.

Currently, 70 accusers have active lawsuits or appeals of suits alleging sex abuse by priests in the archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Accusers in the Cincinnati Archdiocese can either continue with their suits or drop them and be eligible for money from the $3 million pool -- but not both.

If all of the $3 million is allotted that's an average of just $43,000 for the 70 people who now have pending suits, about one-fifth the average amount paid so far by the Covington Diocese.

The $3 million fund set up by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is part of the archdiocese's November conviction in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court for failing to report sexual abuse by priests.

In addition to its settlements, the Diocese of Covington has paid $80,000 to help victims with special needs, Huff said.

Ten other victims in the Covington Diocese have expressed interest in settling their cases individually, she said.

Victims can receive individual attention, including a meeting with Bishop Roger Foys.


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