Archdiocese announces $12.1M sex abuse settlement

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by KING 5 News and Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on June 24, 2014 at 5:29 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 24 at 10:17 PM

The Archdiocese of Seattle announced Tuesday that it has settled 30 claims of sexual abuse by members of the Christian Brothers at two institutions managed by the order in Western Washington.

The settlement totaled $12.1 million.
 
“I deeply regret the pain suffered by these victims,” Archbishop J. Peter Sartain said. “Our hope is that this settlement will bring them closure and allow them to continue the process of healing.”

Plaintiffs' lawyer Michael Pfau said the archdiocese, under Sartain, "did the right thing and acknowledged the tremendous amount of pain and suffering that our clients, their families and our community have endured.
   
"This settlement is the first step in allowing all parties to focus on the future," the Seattle lawyer said in a statement.
   
The settlement will be paid by archdiocesan insurance.
   
The most recent cases are nearly 30 years old and some date back nearly 60 years, the archdiocese said.
   
The Briscoe School began operating under Christian Brothers' management in 1914. The Catholic religious order was involved in staffing O'Dea from its opening in 1923, the archdiocese said.
   
Pfau told The Seattle Times his clients in the case range in age from 42 to 68. The King County Superior Court lawsuits alleged that both the Christian Brothers and the archdiocese failed to protect them from known abusers.
   
About half the plaintiffs alleged they were abused at Briscoe.
   
Eleven men said they were sexually abused by one former O'Dea teacher while another five said they were abused at O'Dea by another former teacher, Pfau said.
   
Pfau said the men will also receive settlement money from the Christian Brothers bankruptcy proceeding. Two groups that hold Christian Brothers' assets sought federal bankruptcy protection in 2011 in the face of hundreds of abuse claims. The Christian Brothers staffed schools and worked in dioceses in a number of U.S. states as well as Canada.

The Archdiocese said anyone who has knowledge of sexual abuse or misconduct by a member of the clergy, an employee or volunteer of the Archdiocese of Seattle is urged to call the archdiocesan hotline at 1-800-446-7762.

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