Norwich – A Federal Bankruptcy Court judge on Monday extended the deadline for the Diocese of Norwich to file its bankruptcy plan to April 15. The deadline was February 4.
Once the plan is filed, it will be sent to Roman Catholic Diocese creditors for approval by June 14. During this 60-day period, the committee, which represents a large group of people, who say they have been sexually assaulted by priests and employees affiliated with the diocese, will discuss the proposed plan with the diocese.
All creditors in the diocese, including victims of sexual assault, will vote to accept the plan.
Eric Henzy, one of the lawyers representing the creditors’ committee, said Wednesday that it won’t be known how many victims have filed claims with the diocese until the March 15 deadline to do so. This number could reach 100 or more.
The diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in July as it faces more than 60 lawsuits from men who claim they were sexually abused as boys by Christian brothers and other staff members. Mount Saint John Academy, a school for troubled boys run by the diocese. Deep River from 1990 to 2002. Since then, other people, whose sexual assault allegations involved not only the school but also the diocesan churches, have filed claims in the bankruptcy case. New London lawyer Kelly Reardon, whose firm has won settlements in the past for victims of sexual assault by diocesan priests, said on Wednesday that 20 of her firm’s clients had filed claims in the case of bankruptcy.
The bankruptcy process, which freezes lawsuits against the diocese, will determine the assets of the diocese and how much each victim will receive in damages. All 51 parishes in the diocese are now seeking to join the diocese in seeking bankruptcy protection against sexual abuse claims and will be required to contribute funds to the settlement. This would prevent victims from suing parishes in the future.
Information on how to file a claim and the bankruptcy case can be found at bit.ly/ndbclaims or by calling 1 (855) 654-0902.