Federal bankruptcy judge orders San Diego clergy sex abuse trials

[JURIST] US Bankruptcy Judge Louise DeCarl Adler ordered 42 clergy sex abuse cases against the Catholic Diocese of San Diego [diocesan website] to go to trial Friday, accepting arguments by plaintiffs lawyers that the move could push pressure on the diocese to settle the claims. The trials were suspended in February - the night before they were scheduled to begin - after the diocese sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection [JURIST report]. The diocese so far has sought to settle with victims for some $94 million, considerably short of the $200 million claimed by plaintiffs attorneys. No trial schedule has yet been set, but the first of the cases could proceed within 60 days.

In January 2007, the Catholic Diocese of Spokane [diocesan website] agreed to settle molestation claims [JURIST report] against its priests for $48 million as part of its Chapter 11 reorganization plan. The Archdiocese of Portland filed for Chapter 11 [JURIST report] in 2004, and the dioceses of Tuscon, Spokane, and Davenport soon followed suit in the wake of hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits [JURIST news archive] against clergy. AP has more.

 

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