Archdiocese of Chicago Paid Out $220M to Abuse Survivors

The Chicago Archdiocese continues to pay millions to settle sexual abuse cases. Now, we're getting our first look at just how much. 

Attorney Jeff Anderson has been working with survivors for decades. He's handled 160 cases involving 48 members of Illinois clergy. But these new numbers speak to the magnitude of the problem. 

Anderson has reached settlements totaling more than $80 million dollars since 2001. That's about $500,000 per victim. These are all individual cases, no class action suits. 

Anderson published a report this week detailing the total number of clergy from the Archdiocese of Chicago who’ve been publicly accused of sexual abuse. He says he's identified 228, over 70% are cases of his own. 

The most recent round of settlements from Jeff Anderson and Associates happened this week. They involve seven survivors and five offenders. The latest happened Monday and involves Father John Smyth. Smyth is accused of abusing kids for decades while working at Maryville Academy in Des Plaines. 

While the dollar amounts are easy to get lost in, lawyers say it’s about more than money for these victims. “The resolution of a case and payment of money in a case does not bring healing, does not make the pain go away,” says Anderson. “But standing up for yourself and giving voice to your truth as a survivor, and then knowing you have done something to protect other kids, and then reach a resolution that gives you some financial opportunity to have a better life.”

Since Monday's filing against Smyth, Anderson says he is working with at least three dozen more survivors of his alleged abuse.

09/19/19 10:56AM