Christian Brothers to pay millions of dollars to abuse victims in US and Canada
Over 400 people to be compensated with financial settlement of $16.5m
The law firm that represented 92 of those affected said the settlement would still allow abuse survivors to continue legal actions. Photograph: Getty Images
A settlement of more than $16.5 million (€12.75 million) has been agreed with the Irish Christian Brothers in sexual abuse bankruptcy proceedings concluded for more than 400 survivors in the United States and Canada. The alleged abusers operated schools run by the congregation in 17 US states as well as Canada.
A statement issued yesterday by Minnesota-based law firm Jeff Anderson & Associates said “the official committee of unsecured creditors for the Christian Brothers Institute and the Christian Brothers of Ireland Inc. have approved the terms and conditions of a consensual reorganisation plan in . . . cases of the Christian Brothers Institute and the Christian Brothers of Ireland, Inc.”
It said more than 400 survivors of sexual abuse were included in the group of unsecured creditors that will share in a financial settlement in excess of $16.5 million – an amount that will be paid by the international Catholic religious order and one of its insurance carriers.
Mr Anderson of the St Paul, Minnesota-based law firm, which represented 92 of the sexual abuse survivors who filed claims in the bankruptcy proceedings, said the settlement would still allow abuse survivors to continue legal actions “involving other parties, including schools and dioceses who share responsibility for decades of abuse staffed by members of the order including schools in California, Hawaii, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Washington”.
He said that “what this settlement demonstrates is how courageous survivors are able to effectively seek justice and accountability from even the largest international religious institutions who endanger children. The clear message being that no institution should ever be allowed to be a safe haven for adults who hurt children.”
Attempts last night to get comment on this settlement from the Christian Brothers leadership team in Ireland were unsuccessful.