I’m not surprised. Alleged victims of clergy sex abuse suing the Archdiocese of Boston have rejected a settlement offer that would have given them (and their lawyers) less money than was given to those who settled in 2003.
Each claimant would have received between $5,000 and $200,000—depending on various circumstances such as severity and frequency of abuse—compared to the range of $80,000 to $300,000 received by the previous recipients. (Since most lawyers in this type of case work on a contingency basis, the lawyers in the current settlement would receive from each client between $2,000 and $66,000. I mention this in the interest of full disclosure.)
Rather than quote plaintiff lawyer Mitch Garabedian’s rejection of the offer, let me paraphrase: The decision of the archdiocese not to bend over and submit to our every demand is a revictimization of these victims.
My guess is that the archdiocese’s lawyers think they have a much stronger legal position regarding these claims and are not going to give in just to get them to go away.
Meanwhile the local media acts as the public relations agency for the lawyers. They accept whatever the plaintiffs’ lawyers say uncritically, which is basically all bluster designed to force the archdiocese to give more money. It’s all about bargaining power and strategy and a chess match. The lawyers use the pain of the victims, trotting them out before the press to see their sad faces, as a blunt object to force the Church to turn over the dough.