[JURIST] The US Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland [diocesan website; diocesan website on clergy abuse] has settled child sex abuse lawsuits with about 150 people, court-appointed mediators US District Judge Michael Hogan and Oregon Circuit Judge Lyle Velure announced [news release, PDF] Monday. They reported that "the vast majority of the known tort claims were settled...[and] the Archdiocese has agreed to pay...the few remaining unresolved known tort claims...and future tort claims." The amount of the settlement was not disclosed, but Hogan said the diocese had more than $50 million in assets of its own in which to cover the settlements. AP has more. The Seattle Times has additional coverage.
The Portland archdiocese, which filed for Chapter 11 [JURIST report; text, PDF] in 2004, was the first one to file for bankruptcy in the face of civil litigation over sex abuse claims. Since then, the dioceses of Tuscon, Spokane, and Davenport have also filed for Chapter 11 protection in the wake of hundreds of sexual abuse lawsuits [JURIST news archive] filed against the clergy. In June, a federal judge allowed [JURIST report] a sexual abuse lawsuit against the Portland archdiocese to continue, rejecting the Vatican's bid to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction. The lawsuit, filed in 2002 [AP report] in the US District Court for the District of Oregon [official website], alleged that the Vatican, the Archdiocese of Portland and the archbishop of Chicago conspired to protect a priest by transferring him from city to city, even though the church knew he had a history of committing sexual abuse. Earlier this month, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles settled [JURIST report] 45 sexual abuse lawsuits for $60 million.