NEW JERSEY (KYW Newsradio) — Over $11 million has been paid out, or soon will be, by five Catholic dioceses in New Jersey to dozens of victims of sexual abuse at the hands of priests. And that effort is far from finished.
564 claims have been filed all told and 105 have been addressed according to Camille Biros, who along with fellow Washington-based attorney Ken Feinberg, is administering an independent fund. They have done the same for the Catholic Church in four other states including Pennsylvania after a similar effort on behalf of 9/11 victims.
Of the 105 claims addressed, all but seven are getting a settlement payment. The remaining 459 claims are still under review.
“We are no longer taking any information about new allegations,” Biros told KYW Newsradio. “We are taking the completed claim forms from individuals who we’ve determined already to be potentially eligible to participate in the program. So they have the information. They just need to complete that paperwork and get that to us by February 29th.”
That review will take months to complete. As for a final price tag, Biros won’t even venture to guess.
“There are so many different situations and so many different types of claims,” she added. “The frequency of the abuse and the nature of the abuse vary widely among the different victims. So it would be impossible for me to even suggest a projected number without having looked at all of these claims.”
Victims who don’t settle can take advantage of a two-year window that opened in late November in New Jersey allowing civil suits outside the statute of limitations.