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[Note from BishopAccountability.org: This webpage and related pages present a cached copy of a website established and originally maintained by counsel for the class members in the class action lawsuit Doe v. the Diocese of Covington. That website no longer exists on the Internet, but much of it has been preserved by the Internet Archive. This page reproduces the latest extant homepage of the original site, as visited by the Internet Archive on August 28, 2007 and preserved at:


This page and the pages to which it links are from late in the class action, and because the website was designed to provide current information, these late pages no longer offer important information that was on the site in its early days. But much of that information was preserved by the Internet Archive during its frequent visits to the site. We have reviewed all the partial copies of the website as they are preserved on the Internet Archive, and have gathered their contents on two pages: a Collected News Items page, and a Collected Documents page. Those two pages and the many links in them are the best way of accessing the documents and other information once contained on this important website. See also a June 2009 update on the status of the class action. In addition to the resources available on this cached website, see also our own Articles on the Covington Class Action Settlement.]

Latest News

Posted August 20, 2007:

The Settlement Master approved Amended Claims Administration Procedures on August 14, 2007. The Procedures may be downloaded at this
Link. [The file 070814AmClaimsAdmProc.pdf is not available on the Internet Archive.]

Posted June 29, 2007:

On June 21, 2007, the Kentucky Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Judge Potter, making the decision of the Kentucky Court of Appeals the final ruling on confidentiality of class members in this case. On October 27, 2006, the Kentucky Court of Appeals granted Class Counsel’s Petition for Relief from the order of Judge Potter, holding that the Settlement Master cannot divulge the names and information of class members. The decision of the Supreme Court may be downloaded at this
Link. [The file 070621KYSupCtDecision.pdf is not available on the Internet Archive. The Kentucky Supreme Court minutes noting the decision are available from http://apps.kycourts.net.]

On June 13, 2006, Judge McGinnis ruled that two persons who filed late could join the case and one person who filed late could not join the case. The Court’s decision may be downloaded at this
Link. [The file 070618OrderreJohnDoes.pdf is not available on the Internet Archive.]

Posted June 4, 2007:

One major source of delay in claims processing was eliminated June 1, 2007, when the Boone Circuit Court filed its decision in the case of Bonar v. Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley. Attorney Barbara Bonar, who was originally a Class Counsel and voluntarily withdrew from this case in January 2004 due to her conflicts of interest, instituted litigation against Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley in early 2006 in an effort to obtain a fee from the class fee awarded by the Court to class counsel. Class Counsel has been required to file numerous briefs and attend numerous hearings on this matter. Responding to voluminous legal documents filed by this attorney and preparing for trial caused significant delay in the claims process. Nevertheless, throughout this separate fee litigation, class counsel has continued to investigate and complete claims so that delay occasioned by this dispute has been kept to a minimum. The trial of the Bonar case began May 8, 2007 and ended May 11, 2007. The trial resulted in a finding against Barbara Bonar and in favor of Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley, holding that Ms. Bonar was entitled to no attorney fees from the class. The Court determined that Ms. Bonar committed numerous serious ethical violations and that her misconduct was cause for her removal from this case even if she had not withdrawn. A copy of the decision can be found at this
link. [The file 070601BonarFindings.pdf is not available on the Internet Archive.]

A letter updating class members on the claims process is being sent to each class member.

Posted February 28, 2007:

Class Counsel wish to express their appreciation to the class members for their patience with the claims process. Class Counsel are now almost completed with our work in finalizing claims, and have remaining only several claims where medical records, school records, or other documentation has still not been received or where class members continue to make modifications their claim form. There are now 401 persons who have filed Confidential Census Forms in this case. We will be issuing a more detailed update letter today.

Posted January 5, 2007:

The claims process, which began on June 15, 2006, will continue into 2007. It is estimated that it may take several more months to complete. There are 389 persons who submitted Confidential Census Forms in this case. Each person's claim is given thorough individual attention. These claims have been and are being carefully and deliberately prepared, reviewed, and investigated by Class Counsel. Each claim is also carefully reviewed by the Diocese's attorney and the Special Masters.

The Claims Process:

Most of the Claim Forms sent to Class Counsel were incomplete or required further documentation. For this reason, Class Counsel requested the Court to modify the June 15, 2006 deadline for submitting a completed Claim Form to permit anyone who had submitted information to Class Counsel by June 15, 2006 to satisfy the deadline. There are still some class members who have not signed their drafted Claim Forms. Class Counsel have been obtaining and summarizing medical records for all class members (some medical records go back forty years or more); organizing school and church records, photographs, yearbooks and handwritten statements; checking sexual predator websites and criminal records of abusers; and obtaining details omitted from Claim Forms. Class Counsel has engaged in literally thousands of meetings, conferences and correspondence with the 389 claimants in this case. There have been difficulties in obtaining medical records in a timely fashion from certain doctors and institutions. Some school, church, and orphanage records have been destroyed and other sources of records had to be investigated. Many records required a lengthy search before they were located. In addition, corroborating witnesses are being interviewed, sworn statements are being obtained, and other investigation is being conducted in an effort to resolve the credibility of claims. This effort is necessary to separate the non-credible claims from those that have merit. A significant number of claims have been denied (this number changes every week). The claimant is notified immediately when his/her claim is denied. Some of these claims were made by persons who do not meet the definition of a class member in this case, and others were denied for lack of credibility. While time-consuming, this effort assures that those who have valid claims will not have the settlement escrow funds diluted by invalid claims.

After Class Counsel completes its investigation of a claim, the Claim Form is sent to the Diocese's attorney, who is seeing the details of the claim for the first time, together with Class Counsel's award recommendation. The Diocese's attorney provides a copy of those claims within the Catholic Mutual Insurance entities' coverage period to Catholic Mutual, which is entitled to comment on the claim. The Diocese and Catholic Mutual has the right to conduct their own investigation of the claim. The Diocese's comments and recommendation and any additional documents are then forwarded to the Special Masters along with Class Counsel's recommendation. The Special Masters have found it necessary to further investigate certain claims and to schedule the interview of certain claimants. The Special Masters have promptly decided each claim that has been presented to them, usually within one week or less, unless an interview is necessary. Once an award is made, Catholic Mutual has right to make an objection to the award and present its comments in the same form as those of the parties. Once the award is final, a Disbursement Authorization Form is prepared and signed by both parties and by both Special Masters. That form is sent to U.S. Bank, which then issues an interim disbursement of 25% of the award, minus attorney fees, from a Minnesota facility for privacy reasons. The class member receiving the award is notified promptly, and the check is delivered promptly after appropriate documentation is signed.

The claims process will not be complete until the last claim is decided and all appeals are decided. During this process, all settlement funds are earning tax-exempt interest. When the process is complete, distribution of the remaining amount of each class member's award will be made based on the total money available in the settlement escrow funds and the total amount of awards. It is not possible to know the total amount of all awards until the last claim has been decided. In accordance with the Court Approved Settlement Agreement, if there are not sufficient funds to pay 100% of all awards, each award will be reduced equally and proportionately. On the other hand, if there are more than enough funds to pay all awards, the excess funds will be returned to the Diocese. After all the Category Awards are paid, the Special Masters will review the files of those eligible for the Extraordinary Injury Fund (class members in Categories 3 and 4) and determine which class members will receive an award from that fund and the amount of the award.

Work Performed Outside The Claims Process:

Although the claims process has progressed very well during the first six months, the following work has contributed to slowing the process:

1. Numerous legal documents have been drafted, modified, redrafted and circulated among the parties, the insurers, the Settlement Master, the Special Masters, the tax attorneys, and U.S. Bank. These documents include: the Claims Escrow Agreement, the Catholic Mutual Escrow Agreement, the Counseling Fund Escrow Agreement, the Minors' Fund Escrow Agreement, the Claims Administration Procedures, the Catholic Mutual Settlement Agreement, the American Insurance Settlement Agreement, Notices of Denial for each claim denied, Notices of Award for each award made, Disbursement Authorization forms for each award made, General Release forms for each award made, Notices of Receipt of Appeals for each appeal made, Draw Notices for transfers from the CM escrow fund to the Doe Escrow Fund for each claim within the Catholic Mutual insurance coverage period, Income Tax Opinion Letters for each award made, Income Tax Returns for each escrow fund, Income Tax Election forms for each escrow fund, summaries of monthly investments and payments for each escrow fund, Settlement Master Reports to the Court, and other documents.

2. It was necessary for Class Counsel to initiate litigation in the Kentucky Court of Appeals to obtain a Writ of Prohibition against the Order issued by former trial judge John W. Potter, who on his own initiative ordered that the identity and contact information for each class member be submitted to local prosecuting attorneys. Class Counsel researched and drafted a Brief and a Reply Brief and argued the case during a lengthy hearing in the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals issued a final order prohibiting the Settlement Master from releasing the identity and contact information of any class member. Judge Potter, whose appointment in this case ended December 19, 2006, filed a notice of appeal to the Kentucky Supreme Court. Class Counsel researched and drafted a Motion to Dismiss the appeal and a Reply Brief on the grounds that Judge Potter no longer has any standing in this case. The Supreme Court has not yet ruled on this motion. (Class Counsel will cooperate with prosecuting attorneys to provide information necessary to aid in the prosecution of abusers, but we will not disclose the identity or contact information of class members without their written consent.)

3. An attorney filed a petition to obtain attorneys fees in this case, despite the fact that she withdrew from the case in January 2004 due to an admitted conflict of interest with the class. This petition generated numerous hearings and the research and filing of numerous briefs. The current trial judge, Robert W. McGinnis, removed this dispute from this case because it was interfering with the claims process. It is now the subject of a separate case. The case is presently pending on Class Counsel's Motion for Summary Judgment.

As you were previously informed, the Court awarded Class Counsel 22% of each class member's award in attorney fees. Class Counsel does not receive its 22% fee disbursement until each class member receives his/her disbursement. Therefore, Class Counsel is subject to the same time deadlines as are the class members.

Class Counsel have agreed not to seek or receive fees or expenses for any work described above which was performed after December 31, 2005. Thus, no fees or expenses are paid for the work done during 2006 or thereafter. Therefore, your compensation will not be affected in any way by the substantial additional work being performed by Class Counsel.

We remain very pleased with the class settlement and the progress of the claims process. Had this case gone to trial, all class members faced the substantial risk of losing due to the application of the statute of limitations or for lack of legally acceptable evidence. In Ohio, the Ohio Supreme Court has rejected identical claims against the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on statute of limitations grounds. Moreover, trials would have been in at least two stages and entitlement to claim awards would have to have been determined by the judge or a jury individually for 389 persons. These trials alone would have taken years, followed by years of appeal litigation. In comparison, due in part to the cooperation of the Diocese of Covington and Bishop Foys, the settlement process in this case will hopefully be completed within one year of its beginning on June 15, 2006 or soon thereafter. It is impossible to predict the exact date on which the process will be complete. We appreciate your continued patience during the claims settlement process.

If you were the victim of sexual abuse* by anyone affiliated with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, you may be able to participate in the Proposed Settlement of a class action lawsuit.

You Are A Class Member If:

  • A priest, a member of a religious order, or anyone else assigned to or employed by the Diocese of Covington or any Diocesan parish or institution subjected you to acts of sexual abuse at any time in the past; and

  • You were a minor at the time

*Sexual abuse includes a variety of sexual conduct ranging from sexual comments, stalking, staring at a naked child and fondling to any type of sexual act.

To preserve your rights to participate in the Settlement or any further proceedings, victims must take immediate action. You must complete the Confidential Census Form and send it to Class Counsel no later than November 10, 2005.

For complete information on the Settlement and your rights, please read the full Notice of Proposed Settlement. You may also contact Class Counsel:

Stanley M. Chesley and Robert A. Steinberg
Waite, Schneider, Bayless & Chesley Co., L.P.A.
1513 Fourth & Vine Tower
One West Fourth Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202

Confidentiality Of Class Members’ Identities
Class Counsel, the Court, and the Diocese have made a commitment to maintain the confidentiality of the identity of Class Members. By identifying yourself to Class Counsel, you will not be identifying yourself to the Court or to the public.

Court Documents
If you wish to review pertinent court documents, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
To learn more about your legal rights, class action procedures and other important information about this lawsuit, click here.

This website is established and maintained by Counsel for the Class Members (Victims) in the class action lawsuit entitled Doe versus the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, Kentucky, for the purpose of providing information to Class Members.