In a hearing
Friday, Judge Patricia Williams said the deal cannot be approved
because it favors one group of victims over another, reported the
violates a rule that requires fair treatment,” Williams said, adding
that bankruptcy “can’t treat people differently.”
filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2004 because of sex abuse
claims and has offered to settle the claims of 75 victims for $45.7
million. More than 100 other claims have been filed since.
The diocese is
reviewing “claims of proof” filed by claimants not covered by the
so-called “universal settlement,” but no sum has been attached to their
claims, reported the AP.
short of ruling against the settlement offer, but warned attorneys for
both sides that she expected the matter to be settled quickly. A
hearing is scheduled for May 15.
Shaun Cross, a lawyer for the Washington diocese, told the AP he is confident the settlement can be restructured.
federal bankruptcy judge has decided that the nearly $46-million
settlement between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane and sex abuse
victims is legally unacceptable.