You may have seen the stories this week that the Los Angeles Archdiocese has settled 45 outstanding Scandal-related lawsuits for $60 million, leaving the rest of the 550+ suits outstanding (although plaintiffs’ lawyers are now saying the archdiocese was premature in announcing the settlement.) You have to ask yourself why only 45 suits were settled. What makes them different from the rest.
Diogenes knows why. The LA archdiocese came up with a plan earlier this year to split the suits into two categories: (1) the 45 that involve incidents during the tenure of Cardinal Roger Mahony, who took office in 1985, will be settled out of court, meaning no messy trial, no depositions, no image of Mahony being grilled in the witness box; and (2) the remainder that will be battled in court because they took place prior to Mahony, meaning no bishops will be called to testify since they’re all dead now.
So it looks as if the twofer is working as it was designed to. The risky part for Mahony concerned the category just settled. With a one-third cut of $60 million dangling in front of them, the plaintiffs’ attorneys will lose interest in the personnel files, as planned, and healing will take place in no time. In fact, healing has already begun! Whereas Cardinal Law seemed crushed by his mega-million payout, Mahony’s $60 mil has “energized” him:
Both church officials and attorneys representing those suing said Friday that much of their focus would now turn toward the more than 500 cases from the time period when the church had insurance coverage.
“The task will be for the insurance companies to step forward,” Mahony said Friday. “I feel much more energized for the other 500 cases now. We anticipate there will be further pain down the road for us.”
“Further pain down the road for us.” Must be tough to keep that grin off his face. “Us,” in this connection, means “You.”