ROCKVILLE CENTRE (NY)
Patch [New York City NY]
November 29, 2023
By Jerry Barmash
The Diocese is offering $200 million in compensation, which includes a minimum $100,000 cash payout for survivors.
The Diocese of Rockville Centre has made its “best and final proposal” for victims of sexual abuse.
The offer announced on Tuesday totals $200 million in compensation, Diocese spokesperson Sean Dolan said, adding that the amended plan is the “most efficient and most effective means to immediately begin compensating all eligible survivors.”
The proposal from the Diocese comes after three years of legal maneuvering “allowing the Diocese to emerge from bankruptcy and continue its charitable mission,” Dolan said, while equitably compensating victims of sexual abuse by the church.
As Patch reported in Oct. 2022, hundreds of sexual abuse claims were frozen in the wake of the diocese’s declared bankruptcy.
An immediate minimum cash payment of $100,000 per claimant will be available: the Diocese said; the plan offers those without qualifying lawsuits an immediate minimum cash payment of $50,000.
Under the plan, the $200 million settlement fund includes a Diocese contribution of $50 million and a contribution of $150 million from parishes, co-insured parties and other Catholic ministries.
In the Diocese’s plan, survivors will have the opportunity to choose immediate compensation.
“A vote to reject the plan in large numbers may lead to the dismissal of the Chapter 11 case, and force survivors to move their claims back to State Court,” Dolan said.
However, at least two lawyers representing victims told Newsday they will reject the proposal, claiming it doesn’t offer anything new.
“The Diocese has already made it clear that it is at the end of its resources,” Dolan wrote.
The proposed payout represents the largest settlement offer ever made in a Diocesan
bankruptcy in the country, both on a total payout and per claimant basis.
Dolan said the Diocese is streamlining the calendar to ensure survivors “can receive their settlement payments in the first quarter of 2024.”