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Montana Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer - Montana Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Settlements MT

If you were sexually abused as a child by a priest, deacon or any other member of the Catholic Church, you are not aloneWe are here to help you.  Please fill out our confidential online contact form or call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 and a Montana Sexual Abuse Lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your possible case.   Help is available nationwide.  There is no cost to investigate and there are no legal fees unless you receive financial compensation.  Making the call is sometimes the hardest step, but it is often a necessary step on the road to healing.  Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Montana

Reasons to call

  • Hold the church and priests accountable
  • Prevent this from happening to someone else
  • Help with the road to recovery – settlement money can provide financial security for you.  It can also help pay for therapy, rehabilitation, and medical treatment

Please call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 or fill out our confidential contact form and a lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to discuss your case.  Montana Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

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Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Montana

Montana Diocese reaches $20M settlement with Catholic sex abuse victims

Commenting on a landmark settlement awarding 20 million to victims of clergy sexual abuse in Montana, an attorney remarked “The money is symbolic. The diocese is finally taking responsibility - it's a big step toward letting them heal.” For these victims, receiving symbolic acknowledgment of their struggles was a long road. And while a settlement cannot undo the past, it is, as Vernon suggests, an important step.  The suits were filed in 2012 by a group of 86 people who said they were sexually abused by priests in the Montana diocese. The instances of abuse took place from the 1950s to the 1980s.

Montana Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

In response to the filings, the diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, a common tactic on the part of targets of lawsuits who seek to limit the amount they will have to pay, or who are faced with a suit much higher than they can pay.

The two sides struggled to reach an agreement, but the 20 million figure was finally agreed on in 2018. To pay the costs, the diocese stated they would not have to sell property being used for ministry, but reported they might have to sell some property that was currently unused. Insurance also covered some of the claims. A bishop stated that the cost was “maxing us out.”

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Montana

As is typical, the terms of the settlement also included more intangible provisions: publishing the names of abusers and establishing a hotline for anyone with relevant information to report abuse.

Some of the individual stories from the suit are shocking. The Billings Gazette reported that one man was abused in a Catholic school in Billings in the 1970s; after switching school after the fourth grade, he was abused by a different clergyman.  The gazette quoted him as saying “Seeing those priests walking around with those white collars is still a trigger for me,” he said. “I just want to tackle them. That’s how I feel. I’m still very angry.”  Another victim quoted in the piece expressed discontent with the terms of the settlement: “The diocese came to the mediation table without wanting to offer us a decent settlement…They came with a pittance, and they said take it or leave it.”

Montana Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer

The system for getting monetary settlements to victims of clergy abuse is still far from perfect. Survivors sometimes must walk away with less than they are entitled to. And tragically, some of the claimants in this lawsuit died during the six years of legal wrangling between 2012 and 2018. Still, each settlement sends a message that those in the church who protect abusers will face consequences.

Catholic Church Sexual Abuse Lawyer Montana

Call Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 for a Free, Confidential Consultation.  No Legal Fees Unless You Receive Settlement. 

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