Boston Archdiocese settle abuse cases $75k payout each

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    Boston Archdiocese to settle abuse cases $75k payout each Boston Archdiocese seeks to settle more abuse cases
    Reuters - USA
    ... Reuters) - The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has offered to settle about 200 lawsuits from the pedophile priest scandal ... As far as the church is concerned ... Boston Archdiocese seeks to settle more abuse cases Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:23 PM ET200 lawsuits from the pedophile priest scandal there, offering average payments of $75,000, lawyers for the accusers said on Friday. The payments are worth about half the $155,000 average payment made to more than 500 other area parishioners in a landmark 2003 settlement, the lawyers said. Mitchell Garabedian, a lawyer representing 55 of the cases, called the offer "cold and callous." "As far as the church is concerned, the sexual abuse scandal has blown over," he said. The Archdiocese of Boston confirmed it is in talks to settle the cases but declined further comment. Claims of sexual abuse by priests surfaced in Boston in 2002, then spread to other U.S. parishes, prompting a drop in donations at churches across America. Squeezed by the cost of settlements, the Boston diocese has shut more than 60 churches and schools, triggering protests by churchgoers. It is not yet clear how many of the 200 plaintiffs would be entitled to awards, the lawyers said. The average payment would be $75,000, said Carmen Durso, who is representing 33 plaintiffs. The church proposal calls for dividing pending cases into three tiers, depending on its assessment of their merit, the attorneys said. Tier One plaintiffs would automatically be added to a pool from which an arbitrator would split up payments that would average $75,000. The church's proposal would give an arbitrator discretion to award payments ranging from $5,000 to $200,000, Durso said. Tier Two plaintiffs would attend a hearing where priests and church attorneys could question them before the arbitrator would decide if they qualified for an award. Tier Three plaintiffs would be excluded from any settlement, meaning they would have to go to trial to seek compensation from the church. (Additional reporting by Jason Szep and Svea Herbst-Bayliss)

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