L.A. Archdiocese Pays $60m US to Settle Some Sex-Abuse Claims

CBC News
December 1, 2006

Los Angeles, the largest Roman Catholic archdiocese in the United States, said Friday it has agreed to pay $60 million US to settle 45 lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests.

The cases were among more than 500 pending against the archdiocese.

"I pray that the settlement of the initial group of cases will help the victims involved to move forward with their lives and to build a brighter future for themselves and their families," Cardinal Roger Mahony said in a release.

Negotiations for the settlement of the cases have been in progress for at least a year.

The payout is the largest in California since 2004, when the Diocese of Orange agreed to spend $100 million US to settle 90 abuse claims.

It is also one of the largest in the U.S. since the sex-abuse crisis erupted in the Archdiocese of Boston in 2002.

500 suits still pending

The Los Angeles archdiocese still faces more than 500 lawsuits from people who allege they were abused by about 200 priests and laypeople dating as far back as the 1930s.

Settlement talks have been under way in those cases since 2002, when legislators passed a state law that suspended for one year the statute of limitations for sexual abuse claims.

Nearly 1,000 people filed claims against the Roman Catholic Church in California under that law.


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