Santa Fe Archdiocese Lawsuits
A federal bankruptcy judge shot down a request by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and its parishes to derail three lawsuits claiming church officials are shielding millions of dollars in assets to limit payouts to clergy sex abuse victims.
The “green light” by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma will allow the three lawsuits filed by attorneys for nearly 400 victims to proceed while church lawyers appeal directly to the 10th Circuit – a protracted process that could take a year or two and cost an estimated $5 million.
But it may not come to that.
“The mediation process is continuing and we hope this ruling will result in getting a consensual deal done (on a settlement of the case),” said James Stang, a Los Angeles attorney representing the nearly 400 claimants who say they were abused as children by priests and other clergy in the archdiocese.
Archdiocese attorney Ford Elsaesser could not be reached for comment Friday.