The billion-dollar windfall

The billion-dollar windfall

Alejandro Bermudez points to a 2003 Forbes Magazine series on the money involved in the Scandal litigation that I evidently missed the first time around.

The Church’s legal problems are worse even than most people realize: $1 billion in damages already paid out for the victims of pedophile priests, indications that the total will approach $5 billion before the crisis is over. ... Plaintiff lawyer Roderick MacLeish Jr. and other litigators have parlayed the priest crisis into a billion-dollar money machine, fueled by lethal legal tactics, shrewd use of the media and public outrage so fierce that almost any claim, no matter how bizarre or dated, offers a shot at a windfall. The lawyers are lobbying states to lift the statute of limitations on sex abuse cases, letting them dredge up complaints that date back decades.

... “There is an absolute explosion of sexual abuse litigation, and there will continue to be. This is going to be a huge business,” MacLeish, age 50, says. A Boston-based partner of the Miami law firm of Greenberg Traurig (2002 billings: $465 million), he has won upwards of $30 million in settlements for more than a hundred plaintiffs in lawsuits in the past decade. With a hit man’s style and a gift for TV sound bites, he has played a key role in unearthing (and exploiting) the priest scandals of the past two years, prompting a nationwide cascade of similar reports.

There’s much more to the network of plaintiff lawyers, political lobbyists, Planned Parenthood and other sex advocates than listed here. There is a large wolf pack circling and licking its collective chops and looking to take advantage of the Church’s self-inflicted wounds, to either bleed her dry of money, to disillusion the faithful, or to remove her as an obstacle to their social engineering schemes.

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