$40 Million Settlement Against Diocese of Duluth For Sexual Abuse Survivors Gets Final Approval
DULUTH, Minn. – A Judge for The U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Duluth has approved a nearly $40million settlement against the Diocese of Duluth.
The settlement is part of a resolution to sexual abuse claims against the diocese and 30 of its parishes.
In the small courtroom, no seat went unfilled as survivors and their families waited to hear the approval of the multi–million dollar settlement.
The sole purpose of the hearing was to provide approval for the Diocese to reorganize operations so they can provide the full compensation to the survivors.
The settlement will exhaust more than one million dollars of the diocese’s savings and the bishop’s home is being sold for about five hundred thousand to fund a portion of the agreement.
The diocese has also secured a low interest loan from the Seminarian Endowment as well as parish and non–parish contributions to pay for the rest.
“No amount of money can heal their suffering, we believe only Jesus brings that kind of healing. But for us the compensation can be a sign of repentance and accountability,” said Diocese of Duluth Bishop Paul Sirba.
We caught up with Jeff Anderson, the attorney for the survivor.
He shared his thoughts on the outcome of the multi–year long process.
He says it is a triumph for the survivors and allowing their stories to be heard.
But it is was not a full success.
“To the extent of that the diocese and others like it use reorganization to avoid full measure of accountability and to delay full measure of disclosure of their practices and policies. It is a half measure,” said Jeff Anderson
Under the terms of the settlement the dioceses will be required to release documents relating to cases of priests accused of sexual abuse.
The settlement also provides for the implementation of future child protection.
Going forward anyone employed by the diocese will be required to go through a background check.
They will also have to undergo training for child safety protocol which will be updated every five years.
Over 100 victims will split the large settlement
That comes out to a little less than $400,000 each.