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Oakland diocese settles abuse suits

Sat., Aug. 6, 2005

SAN FRANCISCO – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland has agreed to pay $56 million to settle lawsuits filed by 56 alleged victims of priest sexual abuse, the diocese said Friday.

The agreement is a series of individual settlements with each remaining victim who alleged abuse by priests, according to plaintiffs’ attorneys. Negotiations took more than four months and were overseen by an Alameda County Superior Court judge.

The diocese did not say how much each alleged victim would receive.

“It is my heartfelt hope that reaching this resolution will help victim-survivors move forward ever more securely along the path of healing,” Diocese of Oakland Bishop Allen Vigneron said in a statement.

Larry Drivon, a Stockton lawyer who represents half the alleged victims, called the settlement “adequate and fair.” But, he added, “There is no amount of money that can ever bring back the stolen innocence and destroyed faith that sexual molestation by a child’s priest causes.”

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