MONTPELIER, Vt. (CN) – A group of former altar boys will split an $18 million settlement after suing Vermont’s Catholic church over alleged sexual abuse at the hands of priests.
Twenty-six former altar boys accused the Diocese of Burlington of negligent hiring, and focused on former Rev. Edward Paquette.
“Our clients are very happy to have the opportunity to close this chapter in their lives,” attorney Jerry O’Neill told The Associated Press. “All of them know that nothing goes away, nothing changes the pain, they will live with this the rest of their lives, but at least now they can put this piece behind them and move forward.”
A judge had set a Sept. 20 trial date last month if the case could not be settled, the AP reported.
As part of the confidential agreement, both sides agreed to settle three other cases already already decided in court but awaiting appeal.