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Abuse Victims Sue Spokane Diocese For More Than $50M

May 21, 2004 | AP

The financial scope of the child sex abuse crisis in the Catholic Diocese of Spokane became apparent this week when a group of victims filed court documents seeking more than $50 million in damages.

The 26 plaintiffs represented comprise only about half the people who have filed lawsuits against the diocese, alleging decades of abuse of children by priests.

The documents are called statements of damages and are required for such lawsuits, he said.

In a recent report to parishioners, the diocese said that as of April 27, it faced 15 lawsuits involving 48 plaintiffs. There are also 17 other claims of abuse for which lawsuits have not been filed.

Some cases are scheduled to go to trial in November 2004.

"Our legal team's best estimate is that the total litigation cost to the diocese may well be several million dollars," the report said. "That does not include any amounts which may be required to resolve these cases either through settlements or trial."

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