Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Milwaukee Archdiocese Settles Remaining Abuse Claims In Bankruptcy Reorganization

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee announced yesterday that it has reached a collective settlement with survivors of clergy sexual abuse that will permit it to complete its four-and-one-half year old Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Reorganization. Key details of the settlement are set out in a summary posted on the Archdiocese's website. Under the settlement, 330 survivors will share $21 million. In addition a $500,000 therapy fund will be set up. 92 additional claimants whose claims were not substantiated will receive $2000 each. The funds for the settlement will come from various sources, including parishes and insurers.  The Cemetery Perpetual Care Trust whose liability has been the subject of extensive litigation will lend the Archdiocese $3 million; reimburse the Archdiocese for $5 million of past cemetery care expenses; and contribute $8 million to settle all claims against its assets.

Attorneys' fees so far have totaled $18.5 million, with additional fees capped at $1.25 million.  Fox 6 News reports that the settlement will be submitted to the bankruptcy court in an Aug. 24 filing, with a hearing scheduled for Nov. 9.  The article also carries the negative reaction to the settlement by advocates for abuse victims, as well as Archbishop Jerome Listecki's favorable reaction to the settlement.