Vt. Catholic Church settles abuse cases
Three years after paying more than $20 million to close almost 30 priest misconduct lawsuits, Vermont’s Catholic Church settled a dozen new cases Wednesday just minutes before the first was set for trial.
The state’s largest religious denomination had hoped to rid itself of nearly a decade of lurid headlines and legal headaches in 2010 when it sold its historic 32-acre Burlington headquarters and 26-acre Colchester Camp Holy Cross to make good with all its then-known accusers. But that settlement didn’t preclude other former altar boys and young male churchgoers alleging sexual abuse from filing later lawsuits.
Lawyers for the first of 12 new plaintiffs were scheduled to argue their case in U.S. District Court in Burlington Wednesday at 10 a.m. But attorneys for the statewide Roman Catholic Diocese offered a settlement just minutes before the start of opening statements.
Neither church counsel Thomas McCormick nor Burlington lawyer Jerome O’Neill, representing all but two of the three dozen past and present plaintiffs, would reveal the amount of the settlement.
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