By GILLIAN FLACCUS, Associated Press Writer
LOS ANGELES - The nation's largest Roman Catholic archdiocese said Friday it has agreed to pay $60 million to settle 45 lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests. The deal is the most significant step to date toward resolving extensive litigation against the archdiocese that has dragged on for years.
"I pray that the settlement of the initial group of cases will help the victims involved to move forward with their lives and to build a brighter future for themselves and their families," Cardinal Roger Mahony said in a news release.
Negotiations for the settlement of the uninsured cases have been in progress for at least a year.
Ray Boucher, the lead plaintiff's attorney, said the settlement involved 22 priests and was the largest settlement the
"I wasn't certain we would ever get it done, but thankfully 45 very injured people will have a change to begin to heal, particularly at this time of the year," he said.
The payout is the second-largest in
Sex abuse by Roman Catholic priests has cost the
Four dioceses —
Settlement talks have been under way in the remaining
Nearly 1,000 people filed claims against the Roman Catholic Church in