$5.2M church deal may be just beginning

The Cincinnati Post

By Kevin Eigelbach

Post staff reporter

Now that the Diocese of Covington has agreed to pay $5.2 million -- an amount greater than all its previous sexual-abuse payouts combined -- to settle two Lexington-area lawsuits, attorneys and officials look to the next case.

It is sobering.

The Cincinnati firm of Waite, Schneider, Bayless and Chesley is pursuing a separate class-action suit against the diocese in Boone Circuit Court on behalf of all victims of sexual abuse by priests in the past 50 years.

Attorney Stan Chesley believes that at least 40 priests -- more than one out of every 10 in the diocese during that time -- sexually abused children. He also believes there are up to 1,000 victims.

The Lexington case, first filed asking for $50 million, involved just 27 alleged victims and the agreed payment amounts to about $190,000 per person.

If Chesley's estimate is correct and there are as many as 1,000 victims, a settlement of the same magnitude in this next case could cost the diocese $190 million.


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