Archdiocese of Los Angeles Reaches Settlement in Sex-Abuse Cases

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest Roman Catholic archdiocese in the country, announced on Friday a $60 million settlement covering 45 <"">clergy sex-abuse cases. However, the number of cases settled by the new agreement amounts to less than 10 percent of the total cases brought against the organization, and more than 500 other cases still await settlement.

The 45 settled cases are from incidents that took place before 1954, when the group arranged for liability insurance, and since 1986, the year when the group’s liability insurance ended. Lawyers are still negotiating over which, if any, church documents related to the abuse cases will be released to the public.

“This is very important for us,” Cardinal Roger M. Mahony told the Los Angeles Times. “This is a major effort at healing and reconciliation.” However, Barbara Dorris, of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, told the Times that “this settlement should be seen as what it is: a purely business decision by Mahony, and nothing more.”

“Cardinal Mahony’s goal has always been self-preservation,” she added. “He desperately wants to avoid trials at which horrific and shocking secrets about the church cover-ups of child sexual abuse will be exposed. This settlement doesn’t signal or suggest any change whatsoever in Mahony’s M.O.”

Settlement of the remainder of the cases, some 500 or so of them, is still pending. The archdiocese has been in heavy negotiations with several insurance companies for years over who bears responsibility for the remaining settlements. The insurance companies are claiming that they are not liable to compensate for any of the church’s crimes while the church believes the companies should be paying nearly all of the settlement money. The abuse cases are not likely to be settled until the church and the insurers can reach an acceptable agreement among themselves. Los Angeles dui lawyer
Speculation is that the archdiocese will be forced to sell off a number of its Southern California properties in order to pay the settlement. According to the Times, the group owns 1,600 properties in the area, including oil wells, farmland, parking lots, and commercial space, at an estimated value of $4 billion.

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