November 09, 2017 11:26 AM
One of the Diocese of Duluth's insurers has reached a settlement in the bankruptcy case that resulted from allegations of abuse.
The Catholic Mutual Relief Society of America will pay $8.95 million to the case. Jeff Anderson & Associates said in a release that if approved, the money will be used to pay some of the abuse claimants. The bankruptcy court must approve it.
The diocese called it a "major step forward."
"The diocese has always wanted to provide compensation to victims in the most just way possible and to emerge from bankruptcy as soon as we can. This settlement represents progress toward both goals," a statement read.
Jeff Anderson, the attorney for many of the alleged victims, agreed that it is a good step.
"This is promising and there is hope but the key is getting the other insurance companies to step up and honor their obligations," Anderson said in a press release.
There are multiple insurers for the diocese, so there may be more settlements coming.
The diocese declared bankruptcy in Dec. 2015. It was facing a $4.8 million verdict in one abuse case. The diocese said then it estimated they were aware of about 40 abuse claims against them, almost half of which came after filing bankruptcy.
A representative of the diocese said in the statement they believe this settlement to be fair.
"We know that compensation alone is not sufficient to address the pain caused by members of the clergy," it said. "Bishop Sirba and the clergy and faithful of the diocese continue to offer their prayers and support to all victims in hope of healing."
Anderson & Associates said the settlement will be considered in court at a hearing January 4.
Updated: November 09, 2017 11:26 AM
Created: November 09, 2017 11:15 AM
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