Compensation amount decided in last year’s Mount Cashel settlement

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Barb Sweet
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Compensation amounts have now been decided in a settlement reached last year for individual victims of abuse that include former residents of the Mount Cashel orphanage.

The Mount Cashel orphanage, 1989. File photo

The settlement includes a $16.5-million cash payment from the Catholic lay order, the Irish Christian Brothers and one of its insurers and affects more than 420 men and women in the U.S. and Canada who say they were molested as children by members of the Christian Brothers.

The new development is that a retired judge has decided how the money will be distributed to the claimants, about two thirds of whom are in the U.S., said lawyer Geoff Budden.

Most of the Mount Cashel claimants involved were residents of the orphanage prior to the early 1960s, when the American branch of the Christian Brothers withdrew from the Torbay Road, St. John’s facility.

The victims will receive their money within two or three weeks and the payouts range in amount, depending on such criteria as the type and extent of the abuse and the impact on the victim’s life. The minimum payout is $5,000.

“Nobody is getting the compensation I believe they would be entitled to, but it’s a limited pot, therefore it’s only viewed as partial compensation,” Budden said this morning.

“I think there is satisfaction from the guys I have spoken to. Nobody, including the courts that administered this, is suggesting this is adequate and full compensation, but there is only so much money there. That’s the nature of a bankruptcy.”

There is also a small pot of money coming from a couple of properties involved in the settlement that have not yet been sold.

Budden represents some 90 clients involved in the settlement, which was announced last year and affects some 160 local victims of sexual abuse, mostly residents of the former Mount Cashel orphanage in St. John's. Some 10 per cent of the victims were other school children.

When reached last spring, a victims’ committee appointed by the U.S. Justice Department and including three Canadians, approved the terms and conditions of an agreed-to reorganization plan in the Chapter 11 cases of The Christian Brothers Institute and The Christian Brothers of Ireland, Inc. (In the United States, the Christian Brothers are the civil arms of the North American Province of the Congregation of Christian Brothers of Ireland).

It’s not the end of the Mount Cashel saga — victims continue to seek full compensation through actions against the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St John’s.

The boys’ orphanage was closed in 1990 and the building demolished in 1992.

Organizations: Christian Brothers Institute, U.S. Justice Department, North American Episcopal Corp. of St John

Geographic location: Mount Cashel, United States, Canada Torbay Road St. John's

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  • Mt. Cashel Kid
    February 20, 2014 - 19:59

    I'm one of the sexual abuse survivors of Mt. Cashel and I find it extremely insulting and disheartening to hear others who know nothing take down the church the way they do and lawyers/fellow survivors belittle this traumatic incident with a cash grab as if money is the solution. Nonsense! I have forgiven , moved on, and at peace with life and my church and will live out my life with my head held high knowing that I was no part of allowing myself to be abused a second time by lawyers and money. Dignity cannot be bought.

  • Annie-Girl
    February 20, 2014 - 12:34

    The Roman Catholic Church is the most prosperous establishment on the planet. Just sayin'.

    • seanoairborne
      February 20, 2014 - 20:13

      I had many of those brothers that were convicted of this sick behavior as teachers while I was at Holy Cross in the 50s and 60s.I wanted to kill a couple of them for beating the hell out of me for no reason other then to get their kicks from beating a poor kid from the wrong side of the tracks.That's how many of us were treated by these sickos.I was almost deafened by one of them in the 6th grade. He beat me around the ears with a cupped hand in the cloak room.The beating was so bad my old man went to the school after the Brother that did it and they hid him because Pop was going to crack his skull!I was out of school for a week because I couldn't hear and I still experience a crackling and ringing sound that just comes out of nowhere in my right ear! As far as I'm concerned these ex Mt.Cashel "prisoners" should get much more for the crap they lived through.The only reason why they didn't diddle us at Holy Cross is that we would be going home after class to our parents and would rat them out,so they took advantage of the parentless kids at Mt.Cashel because they had no parents to protect them!!There but for the grace of God would have went I and many more of us but we were lucky!!We had Moms and Pops at home !PS I still hate the Christian Brothers today!!

  • Geri
    February 20, 2014 - 11:49

    I hope the Catholic church doesn't have a pot to p-ss in, or a window to through it out through, after all victims of this horendous abuse have been compensated. Bankruptcy...what joke!