GREAT FALLS, Mont. (AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Great Falls/Billings has reached a $20 million agreement to settle claims by 86 people who said they were sexually abused as children by clergy employed by the diocese.
Two law firms representing the victims and the diocese announced Friday that the agreement was reached Tuesday during mediation.
A bankruptcy judge and victims must still approve the settlement.
The diocese last year filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization protection to negotiate a settlement.
The diocese last month moved to dismiss its bankruptcy case, saying negotiations had reached an impasse and continuing legal costs were draining the resources it had to fund a settlement.
Bishop Michael Warfel said at the time that his obligation was to be fair to claimants while ensuring the parishes remain viable.