Connecticut diocese settles abuse claim

by Joshua J. McElwee

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From the Connecticut Post:

BRIDGEPORT -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport has agreed to pay $200,000 to the family of a man who claimed he was abused as a child by first a gardener and then a priest at St. Theresa's Church in Trumbull in the 1970s.

Michael Powel died in October 2008 after an eight-year battle with cancer, but his wife and two adult children continued his lawsuit against the diocese. The agreement would end the family's claims against the diocese.

"It has been a long road, and it's really unfortunate Mike couldn't be here to see the end of it," said the family's lawyer, Michael Reck.

Diocesan spokesman Brian Wallace said the church does not believe it committed any wrongdoing. "But its just too expensive to continue to defend against this frivolous lawsuit brought by out-of-state lawyers who are practicing a pattern of trolling for lawsuits across the country," he said. "The diocese remains committed to zero tolerance to abuse and a safe environment."

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