Burlington, Vt., Feb 3, 2010 / 22:23 pm
The Diocese of Burlington is selling its headquarters and other church properties in hopes of securing funds to settle two dozen pending sex abuse cases before they go to trial.
Chittenden Superior Court Judge Helen Toor has called for one trial to resolve all remaining civil cases related to the former priest Edward Paquette, who worked in the diocese in the 1970s.
According to the Rutland Herald, three past juries have ruled that the diocese was negligent in hiring and supervising the retired priest. One jury issued a record $8.7 million verdict in May 2008, another issued a nearly $3.6 million verdict in December 2008 and a third issued a $2.2 million verdict in October 2009.
Three other cases involve former priest Alfred Willis and there are four other separate trials on unrelated misconduct lawsuits.