[JURIST] The US Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles [diocesan website; diocesan website on clergy abuse] announced [statement] Friday that it has settled 45 lawsuits concerning 22 priests accused of clergy sexual abuse [JURIST news archive] for $60 million. Ray Boucher [profile], the lead attorney for the plaintiffs, told AP that the archdiocese would pay more than $50 million, while approximately $8 million would come from other religious orders. The settlement is the second largest per-person in California, and the fourth largest per-person in the United States.
The LA archdiocese is the largest in the US, and still faces more than 500 lawsuits from people claiming abuse from approximately 200 members of the church hierarchy, starting as early as the 1930s. In 2002 in Stogner v. California [text, PDF] the US Supreme Court struck down a California law lifting the statute of limitations for criminal trials of sexual abusers of children on the grounds that it violated the Constitutions Ex Post Facto Clause, but the same year state legislators added §340.1 [text] to the California Code of Civil Procedure [text] lifting the time bar on civil cases for one year following January 1, 2003, a move which resulted in almost 1000 cases being brought against Californias Catholic church. AP has more.