PITTSBURGH, PA, United States (UPI) -- The Diocese of Pittsburgh saysit has resolved 32 lawsuits dealing with allegations of abuse or injuryby priests.
The diocese and attorneys for the plaintiffs announced the suitshave been withdrawn and a $1.25 million Outreach Fund has beenestablished by the diocese to be distributed to the plaintiffs based onreviews of each claim, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Monday.
Pennsylvania courts have ruled that the suits were invalidated bythe state`s statute of limitations. The courts declared that thealleged abuses took place too long before the suits were filed againstthe diocese.
'The Pennsylvania courts` rulings preclude our clients from pursuingtheir claims,' said Alan Perer, a senior partner at the Law Firm ofSPK, which represents all of the plaintiffs. He said the 'gesture bythe diocese is very much appreciated.'
The diocese said all of the plaintiffs have been given the option of participating in a counseling and healing program.
'Outreach and healing have been central to our response to victimsof clergy sexual misconduct,' said Bishop Paul Bradley, diocesanadministrator.