California Dioceses Pay $24 Million To Clergy Abuse Survivors, ICP Closes

Claimants who refused settlements from the program or did not file a claim with the program may still be eligible to file a civil lawsuit.

Settlement News

The California Independent Compensation Program (ICP) closed after processing its last clergy abuse claim. The ICP was created by six California dioceses to compensate clergy abuse survivors. 

In total, the compensation program for victims paid nearly $24 million to 197 claimants abused by priests and other clergy members in the Catholic Church.

California Independent Compensation Program

On September 16, 2019, six California Catholic dioceses launched the ICP. The program enabled the participating dioceses to handle a growing number of clergy abuse lawsuits. Claimants who accepted compensation through the program gave up their right to sue to the dioceses for past abuse. 

The dioceses that took part in the ICP include:

  • Archdiocese of Los Angeles
  • Diocese of Fresno
  • Diocese of Orange
  • Diocese of Sacramento
  • Diocese of San Bernardino
  • Diocese of San Diego

The program was run by independent administrators. The six dioceses had no say in who was awarded money or how much compensation was given to each individual. 

On July 29, 2021, the ICP made its last payment. In total, the dioceses paid $23,970,000 to 197 eligible claimants.

“I am pleased the ICP was committed to a process that treated all victim/survivors, regardless of their citizenship or immigration status, with dignity and compassion. It was particularly important that the ICP process offered victim/survivors some sense of justice and validation for the inexcusable trauma they endured.”

Maria Contreras-Sweet, Member of the Independent Oversight CommitteePress Release

Further details about the program include:

  • The program received 583 claims.
  • 197 applicants accepted offers.
  • The program administrators denied 174 claimants.
  • 22 claimants refused offers.

Claimants who refused settlements from the program or did not file a claim with the program may still be eligible to file a civil lawsuit against the responsible diocese.

Abused by a Priest in California?

You May Have Rights to Legal Compensation

California Legislation Leads To More Lawsuits For Dioceses

On January 1, 2020, the California Child Victims Act went into effect. The new law extended the state’s statute of limitations for child sexual abuse claims.

A statute of limitations (SOL) is a legal deadline. SOLs vary based on the jurisdiction, the crime and the intended legal action (i.e., criminal charges versus a civil claim).

Additionally, the new law opened a three-year “look back” window for expired claims of child sexual abuse. This was the second “look back” window enacted in the state of California since 2003. 

The current “look back” window revives older claims of child sex abuse. Thus, survivors abused by priests in California dioceses decades ago are eligible to file a legal claim under the new law. 

Since 2002, the California Catholic dioceses have been named in more than 1,000 cases of priest abuse. 

Although the ICP is no longer accepting claims, survivors of clergy abuse in California still have legal options thanks to the “look back” window. Whether the abuse occurred yesterday or decades ago, survivors still have time to file a civil lawsuit. 

The current “look back” window closes on December 31, 2022. Survivors should file before this deadline closes. An experienced clergy abuse lawyer can help survivors with the legal filing process.

If you are a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, sexual assault or a serious physical assault, you may have legal rights. Our team of attorneys is here to help you seek justice against predators and the organizations that cover up or ignore your abuse. Learn more about your legal options, the claims process and potential compensation.

Request a free, confidential abuse case evaluation by calling or sending a message through our secure contact form.

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