South Carolina Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein declined to approve a plan to establish a $12 million fund to settle sexual abuse claims involving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston without further investigation. The judge would not approve the settlement without further investigation into whether or not there are additional unreported cases of sexual abuse. Judge Goodstein made this decision after one of the attorneys for the abuse victims made the claim that the church may have kept some of the cases secret. Peter Shahid, one of the lawyers for the diocese, stated that an investigation had already been done but that the church would cooperate with any new inquiry.
Since the class action settlement was announced in January 2007, 53 people have come forward to make a claim, one of the attorneys for the victims said.
The proposed settlement would provide anywhere from $10,000 to $200,000 to the victims. Spouses and parents of the victims would receive $20,000.
For a confidential consultation with a South Carolina Clergy Abuse Lawyer, call the Louthian Law firm.