Sexual abuse survivors reach partial settlement with Diocese of Rochester

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Sexual abuse survivors have reached a $75.6 million partial settlement with the Catholic Diocese of Rochester in their bankruptcy case.

According to attorney Steve Boyd, the settlement announced on Friday, is the first of its kind in a New York Catholic Bankruptcy case, and includes both payments from the Diocese of Rochester, parishes, and its insurers to survivors. But, in order to be approved, the settlement still needs to be approved by the court, and voted on by 475 survivors in the case.

Attorney Steve Boyd with the Law Offices of Steve Boyd in Buffalo said this settlement is the first step towards justice for those who have been wronged.

“The Diocese of Rochester copped out filing bankruptcy about a month into the child victims act in 2019 and that prevented these survivors from deposing bishops and priests and other people within the diocese who knew, or should have known, that these evil perpetrators were sexually abusing children for decades.”

In response to the settlement agreement, Deacon Ed Giblin with the Catholic Diocese of Rochester said:

“Today, we filed a joint Chapter 11 Plan of Reorganization, along with a joint disclosure statement in support of the plan, for the Diocese of Rochester. We are pleased to enter into this joint resolution with the Creditors Committee to provide recompense to the survivors.”

Once again Bishop Salvatore R. Matano renews, with deep sincerity, an apology to the survivors of sexual abuse of minors, who have been harmed by these egregious acts, as well as to their families and the faithful of our diocese who have endured this sad moment in our history.

Attorney Boyd said that this partial settlement comes after many years of negotiation with the diocese and their insurers.

“We’ve reached a settlement with the diocese and one of the major insurance carriers for a total of $76 million. There are two other insurance carriers in this settlement, which allows the survivors to go sue them directly,” Boyd said.

And this is just one part of a multi-pronged process that Boyd is calling for.

“But The $76 million is a big first step and it’s the first time the diocese is putting real money ahead to at least attempt to make some effort to bring justice to the survivors.”

This is bringing all eyes on the bankruptcy court as they make their final decision.