Seattle Archdiocese settles 30 sex-abuse cases for $12 million

The Archdiocese of Seattle has settled 30 claims of sexual abuse that were filed against the archdiocese and members of the Christian Brothers religious order, the archdiocese announced Tuesday.

Members of the Christian Brothers were accused of sexually abusing boys at two schools the order operated: the Briscoe School, a boarding and day school for boys in the Kent Valley, beginning in 1914, and O'Dea High School from 1923, the archdiocese said.

The archdiocese and lawyers for the complainants said the settlement was for $12.1 million. Some of the cases are almost 60 years old and the most recent cases are nearly 30 years old, the archdiocese said.

"I deeply regret the pain suffered by these victims," Archbishop J. Peter Sartain said. "Our hope is that this settlement will bring them closure and allow them to continue the process of healing."

Lawyers for the complainants, Michael T. Pfau and Jason P. Amala, said the archdiocese and the Christian Brothers failed to protect the boys from known abusers.

The lawyers said in a statement that 11 of the men were abused by a former O'Dea teacher who'd been removed from four other schools where he had abused children.

The lawyers said one student's family complained about the teacher in 1974 to the school vice principal, who said the situation would be handled. However, the teacher was not removed until 1978, even though O'Dea officials kept receiving complaints from other families, the lawyers said.

Pfau and Amala said they have settled more than 75 claims against the Christian Brothers and the Seattle Archdiocese for more than $35 million during the last decade.

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