More settlements in clergy sexual abuse lawsuits; professional mediators coming

Attorney Michael Berman, who is handling cases against the Boy Scouts, said his law firm has already settled 44 cases.

There are over 200 church sexual abuse lawsuits filed and while more cases continue to surface, steps towards closure in the existing cases are moving forward.

Attorney Michael Berman, who is handling cases against the Boy Scouts, said his law firm has already settled 44 cases.

“But other lawyers still have claims against the Boy Scouts. With regard to the Capuchins, a few of the lawyers have settled a few of their cases,” Berman said.

Berman added that he has filed three new cases against the Boy Scouts.

“So I still have three new pending cases which I am not discussing with them yet,” Berman said.

Meanwhile, Attorney Anthony Perez, who also represents victims in the church sex abuse case, has confirmed that several of his clients have also settled.

While how much each victim is receiving as part of settling could not be disclosed as part of the confidentiality agreement Perez did share that the settlement amounts are different depending on the circumstances.

He says the rest of his clients intend to participate in the mediation process.

A scheduling conference was held Friday morning focusing on the claims against the Boy Scouts and Capuchins, and not the Church. Berman said the reason for this is because the Church is in bankruptcy and the only development pertaining to the church case is the announcement of the Ninth Circuit Judge in Hawaii offering his assistance with the settlement of the cases against the church in the bankruptcy case.

“Tthe mediators of the Ninth Circuit don’t normally take cases unless they are on appeal in the ninth circuit and these cases are not on appeal in the ninth circuit. I think they see a special human interest aspect to these cases and they want to voluntarily inject themselves and get involved in a public-spirited sense. Secondly, they’re willing to come to Guam. Our last mediators didn’t want to come to Guam because they said it was far too expensive. Thirdly they propose to not charge, so that’s very important to all of us,” Berman said.

He added: “So the discussion today was about the ninth circuit court of appeals agreeing to send out professional mediators in September to try to help the parties in their possible settlement discussions with the Boy Scouts and the Capuchins, not the Church.”

A hearing has been set for Aug. 16 at 8:30 a.m.