Judge Upholds Arbitration Award Involving the Diocese of Kansas City-st. Joseph
Jeff Anderson & Associates
August 14, 2014
Circuit Court Judge Bryan E. Round has affirmed in its entirety an arbiter's
award of more than $1.1 million against the Diocese of Kansas City-St Joseph. The judge also awarded
interest on the judgment.
The case was an unprecedented breach of contract action brought by Jeff Anderson & Associates of St.
Paul, MN and others against the Diocese for failing to report an abusive priest, Shawn Ratigan, when it
became known that he was creating child pornography using children of the Diocese. Bishop Robert Finn
was criminally convicted and given probation for his failure to report.
The contract being enforced was a 2008 settlement between the Diocese and 47 plaintiffs who were
themselves abused by priests or other agents of the Diocese. Those victims enforced the commitments
the Diocese had agreed to in resolving their claims. "The Diocese paid less in damages for agreeing to
the non-economic terms demanded by the Plaintiffs. When the Diocese breached the non-economic
commitments, it effectively received the benefits without paying for it," the judge wrote.
The commitments to protect children in the Diocese remain in place and the Plaintiffs remain able to
hold the Diocese accountable for following them in the future.