Religious order of nuns settles sex abuse claims for $4.45M

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MISSOULA – The Ursuline Sisters have reached a settlement with numerous plaintiffs who were sexually abused by priests and nuns at the Ursuline Academy in St. Ignatius decades ago.

Tamaki Law and others entered the settlement on December 31, 2014. A news release sent by the law firm says the $4.45 million settlement is the product of years of litigation against the nuns in Western Montana.

The money will be paid to 232 plaintiffs, 80 of whom are presented by Tamaki Law.

The lawsuit alleges that the plaintiffs were physically, sexually and emotionally abused by priests and nuns while the plaintiffs were boarding and days students at the Ursuline Academy from the 1930’s through the 1970’s.

The settlement will be administered in conjunction with the Diocese of Helena bankruptcy. It must be approved by both the bankruptcy court and the abuse survivors.

The Ursuline Nuns will fund the settlement through the sale of property and liquidation of other assets, as the Ursuline Nuns do not have insurance to cover the claims.

The Ursuline settlement brings to an end to lawsuits filed against the Diocese of Helena and the Ursulines in Western Montana.