Supreme Court to Hear Arguments in Priest Award

Associated Press, carried in Fox 44
March 23, 2009

RUTLAND, Vt. (AP) - The Vermont Supreme Court will hear on Wednesday the appeal of an $8.7 million priest sex abuse verdict against the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington.

The Supreme Court will hear the case during its annual day at the Vermont Law School in Royalton.

Last spring a jury ruled in favor of a former altar boy who claimed the diocese failed to protect him from a pedophile priest.

There are almost two-dozen cases pending against the diocese in Chittenden Superior Court.

Diocese Attorney Kaveh Shahi says even if the May decision by the jury is upheld, the monetary award should be limited to $950,000 in compensatory damages.

But the attorney for the former altar boy, Jerome O'Neill, says the award was justified and should stand.


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