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Diocese of Syracuse Agrees to Pay $100 Million to Settle Bankruptcy Claims

By Thomas P. Giuffra

The Diocese of Syracuse filed for federal bankruptcy protection in June 2020, soon after survivors of priest sexual abuse filed lawsuits in state court against the Diocese.

More than three years later, the Diocese is proposing to settle the approximately 400 claims against it by offering $100 million. The proposal has the support of the Creditors Committee, composed of survivors of sexual abuse. The Diocese will pay $50 million while individual parishes will contribute $45 million. The remaining $5 million will come from other sources within the Diocese. None of the funds will be from Diocesan insurance companies.

In a statement, the diocese said the insurance companies have yet to reach an agreement with the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors, which is a federally appointed body that represents the interests of the victims.

“As we recently completed our third year of mediation, the assigned mediator in the case did not include insurance carriers in this proposal, as they have yet to agree on coverage issues with the Creditors Committee,” the statement said. “The mediator’s priority was to reach a settlement with the Diocese and its entities first and then pursue insurers.”

If it is finalized, the bankruptcy settlement will be the largest since 2018 when the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul settled similar claims for $210 million. In the Minnesota settlement, insurance companies paid $170 million.

If you or a loved one have been sexually abused by a priest, minister or person of public trust such as a doctor or counselor, please contact us so we may assist you in evaluating your potential claim.

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