Read the press release distributed by Zero Abuse Project founder Jeff Anderson and his firm, Jeff Anderson & Associates, regarding the settlement on behalf of hundreds of survivors of child sexual abuse in the Diocese of Syracuse bankruptcy case below.
Sexual Abuse Survivors Reach $100 Million Partial Settlement with Diocese of Syracuse, Parishes, and Related Church Entities
Deal Does Not Include a Cent from Diocese’s Insurers
(Syracuse, New York) – Today, a settlement was announced in the Diocese of Syracuse bankruptcy case on behalf of hundreds of survivors of child sexual abuse who courageously came forward to file claims in the Diocese’s bankruptcy case. The $100 million settlement includes contributions from the Diocese of Syracuse, the Diocese’s parishes, and other entities affiliated with the Diocese.
The $100 million settlement represents the second largest contribution by a bankrupt Roman Catholic institution and its affiliates in any Roman Catholic bankruptcy case to date.
Survivors and the Diocese continue to negotiate non-monetary terms of settlement, including strengthening of the Diocese’s child protection protocols as well as public release of documents pertaining to the Diocese’s sexually abusive personnel.
“The survivors on the Committee of Unsecured Creditors were stalwarts, always fighting for all survivors,” said attorney Cynthia LaFave. “They deserve so much thanks and praise, and they deserve to have everyone know that they always kept up the fight regardless of the cost to themselves in exhaustion and emotion. The survivors and the committee have fought long and hard to achieve this historic result. Many thanks to them.”
Notably absent from the settlement is a contribution from any of the Diocese’s insurers. “Statewide, insurers have denied, delayed, and ducked their obligations,” said attorney Jeff Anderson. “It is yet another example of their nefarious strategies employed across the State of New York and the nation. We and the resilient survivors in Syracuse will continue the fight against the insurers.”
The Diocese of Syracuse was the third Roman Catholic diocese in New York to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in response to hundreds of lawsuits filed under the New York Child Victims Act. In addition to the Diocese of Syracuse, the Diocese of Rochester (9.11.2019), Diocese of Buffalo (2.28.2020), Diocese of Rockville Centre (10.1.2020), Diocese of Albany (3.15.2023), and Diocese of Ogdensburg (7.18.2023) have sought bankruptcy protection.
“We are grateful to the survivors who stood up on behalf of themselves and countless other children to bring painful truths to light. Although the battle is not over, today’s settlement represents a significant step toward the accountability and justice that survivors in the Diocese of Syracuse deserve,” said attorney Taylor Stippel.
Attorneys from the offices of LaFave, Wein & Frament, PLLC and Jeff Anderson & Associates represent over 120 survivors who courageously came forward and submitted claims in the Diocese of Syracuse’s bankruptcy case.
“Survivors are standing up strong and united. It makes the Diocese accountable in ways they never have been,” said Anderson. “This this a story from the transference of trauma to power.”