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Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis clergy abuse victims to vote on settlement

August 10, 2018

The 450-some survivors of clergy sex abuse in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis soon will begin voting on a $210 million proposed settlement that would end the nearly four-year archdiocese bankruptcy.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Kressel approved a timeline for the settlement Thursday, and set a Sept. 25 court date for a hearing to confirm the plan.

Eligible survivors of the child sex abuse would receive a minimum of $50,000, under the plan. Ballots will be sent to them in the weeks ahead.

Both sides were optimistic that this reorganization proposal, announced in May, would be approved because it was reached by consensus with both parties.

“It can’t erase survivors wounds, but it can give them comfort that we’re nearing an end,” said Jeff Anderson, attorney for the victims.

Archbishop Bernard Hebda said the progress was “good news for all.”

“We’re happy that we’re moving forward, and that the [Sept. 25] date has been set, and that it was a very amicable hearing,” Hebda said.

The archdiocese declared bankruptcy in January 2015 following an avalanche of clergy abuse claims. Attorneys for the victims and the archdiocese were not able to reach agreement on a reorganization plan until this year.

The settlement would place the $210 million money in a trust fund for the claimants, with payments based on the severity of the abuse. In return, survivors would be prohibited from pursuing further legal action against the archdiocese or its parishes

The bulk of the settlement, $170 million, will be paid by the more than 20 insurance carriers of the archdiocese and local parishes, said Tom Abood, chairman of the archdiocese’s reorganization task force.

The remaining $40 million will be paid by the archdiocese and individual parishes, he said.

Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511

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