Key Parts of the Proposed Settlement Between the Archdiocese and Abuse Survivors

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee
August 5, 2015

[with pdf]

* 330 Abuse Survivors will share $21 million.

• A $500,000 Therapy Fund will be established for abuse survivors to access therapy and counseling for as long as they need such assistance.

• Parishes of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee will contribute to the Therapy Fund.

• All Archdiocese of Milwaukee parishes, schools and institutions will receive a legal and binding release protecting them from future lawsuits relating to abuse claims that were filed or could have been filed in the Chapter 11 proceeding.

• The settlement money will come from various sources, including insurance settlements of approximately $11 million and voluntary financial arrangements with the Cemetery Perpetual Care Trust.

• The Cemetery Perpetual Care Trust will lend the archdiocese $3 million; provide $5 million for past cemetery care expenses that had previously not been reimbursed by the Trust; and contribute $8 million to settle all pending litigation to bring closure to the Cemetery Perpetual Care Trust issue.

• The Cemetery Perpetual Care Trust was part of the mediation and confirms that it retains the necessary resources to fulfill its sacred mission of providing perpetual care for the nine Archdiocese of Milwaukee Catholic cemeteries.

• To date, nearly $12 million has been paid to attorneys and other professionals in the bankruptcy proceeding. Another $6.5 million in fees have been accrued, but not been paid. To conclude the proceeding, additional legal fees have been capped at $1.25 million. Any savings on the projected costs to wind up the proceeding will go directly to the abuse survivors.

• Under the settlement, abuse survivors will receive varying amounts of payments, overseen and determined by an independent administrator, appointed by the Bankruptcy Court, who will evaluate the claims and make recommendations to the Creditors’ Committee for final payment amounts. The proposed claims administrator also served as the mediator in the successful mediation process.

Key Parts of the Proposed Settlement Between the Archdiocese and Abuse Survivors

• There are four classes of abuse survivors outlined in the Plan:

• Abuse survivors whose claim is against an Archdiocese of Milwaukee priest with a previous substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. 223 claims fall into this category.

• Abuse survivors whose claim is against a religious order priest, brother or sister, or a lay employee, who experienced the abuse at an archdiocesan parish, school or institution where the abuser was working. 107 claims fall into this category.

• Claimants whose claims are not substantiated or could not be substantiated, or where abuse occurred by someone at a non-archdiocesan organization will be classified into an “Unsubstantiated Claims Designated at the Creditors’ Committee’s Election” class. The Creditors’ Committee chose to set aside a portion of the settlement funds to permit claimants in this class to receive $2,000 each to settle their claims in exchange for a release of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee and all Archdiocese of Milwaukee parishes, schools and institutions. 92 claims fall into this category.

• Claimants whose claims were either disallowed or dismissed or claims that are not for sexual abuse or do not identify the abuser, along with claims filed by individuals who had previously received a financial settlement from the archdiocese will receive no payment. 157 claims fall in to this category.

• 579 claims were filed in the proceeding. Nine claims were either withdrawn or were filed multiple times.

• The archdiocesan offices will remain at the Cousins Center.

• A new lease for the Milwaukee Bucks to use the Cousins Center as its training facility has been put in place.

• No other legal action against the Faith In Our Future Trust, De Sales Preparatory Seminary or other Catholic institutions will occur.

• The Archdiocese of Milwaukee Finance Council and College of Consultors endorsed the settlement.

• The Cemetery Trust will voluntarily withdraw its pending U.S. Supreme Court petition for Certiorari at an appropriate time.


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