In October of 2019 an Independent Compensation Program (ICP) in Colorado was finalized allowing those sexually abused as minors by clergy in the Dioceses of Denver, Colorado Springs and Pueblo the ability to file claims. The unveiling of the program coincided with the Attorney General of Colorado releasing the names 43 priests accused of sexual abuse within the Catholic Dioceses of Colorado.
Catholic priest Lawrence Lovell, or ‘Father Larry”, was at the center of a priest sex abuse case filed against the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the Claretian Missionaries which resulted in a $1.9 million dollar settlement. The victim, Richard Barrios, said the sexual abuse occurred from 1982-1984 when he was an altar boy at San Gabriel Mission Church.
In an out of court settlement, the Archdiocese of Chicago agreed to pay $8 million to settle a claim alleging sexual abuse of minor. The settlement stemmed from allegations of sexual abuse in the 1990’s between Rev. John Calicott and an undisclosed victim. At the survivor’s request, his identity was not made public. The accused priest of the Holy Angels Church, Rev. John Calicott, denied the allegations and sought the name of his accuser. His request was denied.
An Arizona state law opening a window for those whose sexual abuse claims may have been time barred has been extended to the end of this year. Two victims who claim they were abused by Catholic priests over 40 years ago used this law to file lawsuits against their church and the Diocese of Phoenix.
The Harrisburg Catholic Diocese has recently declared bankruptcy as a result of ongoing and mounting Catholic Church sexual abuse claims. The diocese has already paid out nearly $13 million to 111 victims of childhood sexual abuse and church officials believe there may be more than 200 additional victims who could seek compensation through the bankruptcy proceedings.
Six California Catholic Diocese including: Diocese of Fresno, Diocese of Orange, Diocese of Sacramento, Diocese of San Bernardino, Diocese of San Diego, and Los Angeles Archdiocese have recently unveiled a new sexual abuse settlement program for victims of childhood priest molestation in the Catholic Church. Details of the California Catholic Church Settlement fund allow for victims to file a claim without having to directly sue the Catholic Church in court but the deadline is and provide a deadline of January 31, 2020. Typically to file a lawsuit victims would be governed by California’s Statute of limitation laws.
In an effort to cut the total number and size of payouts made by the Catholic Church to its sexual abuse victims, and to hide key documents from the public, the Diocese of Scranton, PA and other dioceses in the US are offering child sexual abuse victims’ closed-door settlements. These settlement programs are run by third-party administrators outside of the church and offer ‘swift’ resolutions opposed to trials.
106 childhood victims of Catholic Church sexual abuse in the Buffalo, NY area have been paid $17.5 million in compensation. The Buffalo, NY diocese has offered a total of 127 settlements with an average award of $158,622 to the sexual abuse victims. The largest settlement offer is $650,000 and due to increasing offers, the diocese’s total cost could end up north of $18 million. The trend is up. In January 2019, Buffalo News reported that the diocese had offered more than $8 million to nearly four dozen people, according to victims and lawyers. That total settlement amount has more than doubled in less than six months.