ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Reactions continue to come in after the Albany Catholic Diocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Lawyers for some of the alleged sexual abuse victims said they disagree with claims from diocese leaders that they are running out of money.
Attorney Cynthia LaFave told NEWS10 that the diocese controls more than $600 million in assets. She believes the bankruptcy filing is simply meant to delay the hundreds of unsettled cases because legal action against the diocese cannot move forward until the bankruptcy proceedings are resolved.
“Now, we find that the cowardly diocese is putting itself into a bankruptcy because it wants to hide a little more and not pay a little more,” she said.
Attorneys said a committee of alleged victims will negotiate a settlement with the diocese in bankruptcy court. It’s unclear when those proceedings will take place.
The bankruptcy filing also means litigation over the Saint Clare’s Hospital pension has been paused. Mary Hartshorne, a leader for the former hospital employees, said their attorneys are now working with bankruptcy lawyers to discuss how to move foward.
Hundreds of hospital workers lost their pensions in 2018 and have joined a lawsuit from the New York Attorney General’s Office to try to force the diocese to re-establish the retirement fund.