Archdiocese Settles with Alleged Mccormack Abuse Victim for More Than $3 Million
January 30, 2014
A nearly $3.2 million settlement has been reached by the Archdiocese of Chicago in a lawsuit alleging sexual abuse with a minor by former priest Daniel McCormack, attorneys said Thursday.
The identify of the plaintiff was not released, but the abuse was alleged to have occurred while the victim was between 8th and 11th grades, according to the plaintiff’s attorneys.
The victim sued the archdiocese and Cardinal George in 2010 alleging they failed to remove McCormack from access to children although they had knowledge that he had sexually abused minors.
“We are pleased to have reached this settlement because it marks one more step toward bringing justice to the victim and his family,” plaintiff attorney Willliam F. Martin said in a statement.
McCormack was arrested in January 2006. He was removed from the priesthood in November 2007 and pleaded guilty that year to abusing five children while a parish priest at St. Agatha.
The Archdiocese of Chicago responded to the settlement in a statement issued Thursday.
“The Archdiocese of Chicago acknowledges that it recently settled a sexual misconduct claim against Daniel J. McCormack. McCormack was laicized in 2007 and is no longer a priest.
“The abuse of any child is a crime and a sin. The Archdiocese encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest, deacon, religious or lay employee, to come forward,” the statement said.
In a statement, Barbara Dorris, spokeswoman for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, applauded the victim for coming forward, but said she hopes one of the suits eventually goes to trial.
“Another clergy sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against the Chicago archdiocese has settled. We applaud the brave victim of Fr. Daniel McCormack who sought justice through our court system. He was smart to get independent help—from an attorney— instead of begging for crumbs from Catholic officials. We are grateful that he persisted through legal delays and that he chose to announce this resolution.
“We hope, however, that at least one of the McCormack lawsuits goes to trial. If that happens, we predict many will be shocked to learn that top archdiocesan officials acted even worse than is commonly believed in this horrific case,” the statement said.
Earlier this month the Archdiocese released to attorneys Jeff Anderson and Marc Pearlman thousands of pages of documents detailing sexual abuse allegations against priests.
Archdiocese representatives said then that the archdiocese had paid out about $100 million to victims of sexual abuse.