We'll see you in court
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES reports ...
"After three years of failed settlement talks, a judge Monday placed 44 civil cases accusing the Los Angeles Archdiocese of failing to protect children from sexual abuse on track for trial sometime next year.For full report, go HERE.
The cases are the first involving Los Angeles priests to make it this far toward jury trial. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Haley Fromholz's order raises the prospect of the first detailed public airing of charges that church officials moved around priests who were accused of molestations rather than turning them over to authorities or warning parishioners.
In making the request to go to trial, Raymond Boucher, the liaison counsel for the plaintiffs, and J. Michael Hennigan, lead counsel for the archdiocese, said they had reached an impasse, which they blamed on the unwillingness of the church's insurers to come to the table.
"It turned out we were overly optimistic," Hennigan said of hopes that all parties could come to an agreement in the 562 cases without going to trial. "The insurance companies are not satisfied that they know the cases well enough."
Insurers were unable to "tell sheep from goats," he said. "I can't entirely blame them for feeling we pushed them a little too hard."
But some plaintiffs' attorneys say it is the church that has dragged its heels. "Anybody who is blaming the insurance companies are singing the cardinal's tune," said Costa Mesa attorney John C. Manly, referring to Mahony, who has led the Los Angeles Archdiocese since 1985.
Manly called the settlement talks "a big lie designed to wear down victims and their lawyers" and questioned why church officials had not liquidated real estate assets and put the cases behind them."
See my previous post, Opposition is mounting against Mahony, which features a video showing both Boucher and Hennigan.