Altoona-Johnstown Diocese to pay more than $3 million to 21 claimants

The law offices of Serbin, Kovacs & Nypaver, LLP of Altoona has confirmed this morning that a settlement has been reached between the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, Bishop James Hogan and Bishop Joseph Adamec, and each of the 16 victims of sexual abuse who were plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed.
Five additional claims on behalf of victims of clergy sexual abuse have also been settled. A total of 11 priests and one lay school teacher were identified in these cases as abusers.
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has agreed to pay the sum of $3,710,000 to settle 21 claims. As a part of this settlement, the diocese will pay the sum of $210,000 into separate bank maintained escrow account, solely for the purpose of providing monies for the treatment and counseling of the 21 individuals who were a part of the settlement.
Richard M. Serbin, esquire, is the attorney for each of the 21 claimants.
According to the law office, an independent arbitrator was selected to hear evidence and determine the value of each individual claim. Each individual who was allegedly sexually abused during their childhood by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown will receive an award of no less than $50,000 and no greater than $400,000. These awards are in addition to their entitlement to receive treatment and/or counseling by utilizing the funds set aside in the separate treatment fund.
Attorney Serbin and his co-counsel have filed lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the Allentown Diocese and the Diocese of Pittsburgh, asserting the same legal theories on behalf of other abuse victims.
On May 4, Blair County Judge Hiram A. Carpenter III dismissed the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown’s preliminary objections to the 13 lawsuits filed against the Diocese on behalf of the 16 abuse victims who files complaints, thereby permitting the lawsuits to go forward.