[JURIST] The US Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland [diocesan website; diocesan website on clergy abuse] has filed a new bankruptcy plan with the US Bankruptcy Court anticipating a payment of $75 million to settle [JURIST report] outstanding sex abuse claims against some of its clergy. Under the plan submitted Monday, $40.7 million will go to 143 people, another $13.75 million will be allocated to cover claims by another 26 individuals who may yet sue or settle, and $20 million will be set aside as a contingency fund to cover any future claims. Insurance will cover over $50 million, with the remainder coming from liquidation of certain diocesan holdings not including parish or school property. Reuters has more
The Portland archdiocese, which filed for Chapter 11 [JURIST report; text, PDF] in 2004, was the first one to file for bankruptcy in the face of civil litigation over sex abuse claims. Since then, the dioceses of Tuscon, Spokane, and Davenport have also filed for Chapter 11 protection in the wake of hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits [JURIST news archive] filed against the clergy. In June, a federal judge allowed [JURIST report] a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Portland archdiocese to continue, rejecting the Vatican's bid to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction. The lawsuit, filed in 2002 [AP report], alleged that the Vatican, the Archdiocese of Portland and the archbishop of Chicago conspired to protect a priest by transferring him from city to city, even though the church knew he had a history of committing sexual abuse. Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled [JURIST report] 45 sexual abuse lawsuits for $60 million.