Camden, New Jersey Catholic Diocese Reaches $87.5 Million Settlement With Hundreds Of Sexual Abuse Victims
Posted onAuthorTara R. RathbunComments Off on Camden, New Jersey Catholic Diocese Reaches $87.5 Million Settlement With Hundreds Of Sexual Abuse Victims
About 300 victims who suffered child sexual abuse will share an $87.5 million trust established by the diocese and related Catholic entities, Jeff Anderson, who represents some of the survivors, told CNN.
The settlement will be funded over four years and victims will each receive their payouts from a dispatcher, he said.
While the two the diocese of Camden and survivors’ lawyers announced that they had agreed to the terms, the official rules are still weeks away, Anderson said. The parties are seeking court approval in early June, after bankruptcy attorneys drafted a formal text and submitted it to survivors for their consent.
The settlement follows numerous allegations made against other Catholic dioceses and religious orders across the United States, accusing them of covering up sexual abuse and protecting pedophile clergy. In turn, many of these dioceses and religious orders have filed for bankruptcy protection.
The Diocese of Camden is pleased that a settlement has been reached, Bishop Dennis Sullivan said Tuesday in a statementadding that he pledged to ensure that “this terrible chapter in the history of the Diocese of Camden, New Jersey, will never happen again.”
“I want to express my sincere apologies to everyone who has been affected by sexual abuse in our diocese. My prayers go out to all survivors of abuse,” Sullivan said.
The Diocese of Camden is one of five dioceses in New Jersey. The parishes of the diocese are separate entities under New Jersey law, making them effectively non-subject to suit, the documents show.
The Diocese of Camden has filed for bankruptcy
In October 2020, the Diocese of Camden filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 of the Federal Bankruptcy Act. Generally, this decision allows organizations to continue operating and making money, even as they reorganize, negotiate with insurers and create a trust to distribute payments to future claimants.
In filing for bankruptcy, the Diocese of Camden cited both the financial burden of the coronavirus pandemic and settlements for victims of abuse.
“If it was just the pandemic or just the costs of the victim compensation program, we could probably bear the financial impact; however, the combination of these factors made this impractical,” the diocese said in a statement. statement on his website at the time.
In a separate statement On Tuesday, Sullivan noted, “While we expect this to be the final financial step in settling survivors’ claims, we know this is just the next step on a perpetual road to ensure that this kind of ‘abuse…never happen again by anyone in our ministries, parishes and schools’.
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