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Attorneys for diocese priest abuse victims seek to file own bankruptcy plan

  • February 16, 2023

The committee that represents 142 people who say they were sexually assaulted by priests and clergy in the Diocese of Norwich said Friday the diocese’s $29 million bankruptcy plan to compensate the victims is “woefully inadequate.”

The comment came as attorneys for the official Committee of Unsecured Creditors announced they would be taking the “extraordinary step” of seeking authority from a federal bankruptcy court judge to file an alternative plan of reorganization “in the hopes of providing all survivors fair and reasonable compensation” while bringing “some measure of accountability to the Norwich Diocese and the other implicated Catholic organizations.”

“While the $29 million in total proposed in the Diocese’s plan, standing alone, is admittedly a large sum of money, when shared among all of the survivors who suffered greatly as children and continue to suffer to this day, it is woefully inadequate,” said committee co-counsel, Eric Henzy.

Some of the victims could receive as little as $2,500, according to the diocese’s plan.

Ice Miller, the law firm representing the diocese, did not respond to a request for comment about the committee’s request to submit a competing plan.

The Roman Catholic diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2021 as it faced more than 60 lawsuits filed by men who say they were sexually assaulted as boys by Christian Brothers, staff and students at the diocese-run Mount Saint John Academy, a residential school for troubled boys in Deep River, from 1990 to 2002. Since the bankruptcy filing, 82 additional people, whose sexual assault allegations involved not only the school, but diocesan churches, have filed claims in the bankruptcy case.

Since the diocese filed for bankruptcy, it has received seven extensions giving it the exclusive right to file a bankruptcy. It negotiated with its insurance company, parishes, the committee representing victims and creditors

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