Bankruptcy Court Confirms Archdiocese of Santa Fe Plan of Reorganization Settling Hundreds of Sexual Abuse Claims

December 30, 2022

Los Angeles, CA – December 30, 2022 – Capping four years of intense work by the Official Creditors Committee (“OCC”), the fiduciary for all sexual-abuse survivors in the chapter 11 case of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe (“ADSF”), Judge David T. Thuma, United States Bankruptcy Judge for the District of New Mexico, confirmed a consensual plan of reorganization settling the sexual-abuse claims against the ADSF and several religious orders. The settlement, approved by 99% of the voting survivors, provides for a payment of more than $121.5 million to a settlement trust that will be distributed to approximately 375 aurvivors under a plan of reorganization. Additional funds will be distributed to survivors of abuse perpetrated by several religious orders.  

The settlement will be funded by the ADSF, its affiliates (including parishes), and the ADSF’s insurance carriers. In exchange for the settlement payments, the ADSF will receive a discharge in bankruptcy and its affiliates and the insurance carriers will be released of their liabilities for the sexual-abuse claims. Religious order settlements will be funded by the religious orders and their respective insurance carriers. In addition to the monetary settlements, the OCC negotiated for an unprecedented nonmonetary agreement with the ADSF to create a public archive of documents regarding the history of the sexual abuse claims against the Archdiocese.  

“Our long journey through the bankruptcy proceeding is nearly at an end,” said Charles Paez, Chair of the OCC. “Tragically, some survivors who started with us have passed away but their stories and the courage they exhibited throughout their lives will be documented in the public archive at the University of New Mexico. Through the hard work of the nine members of the Official Creditors Committee, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe has been held accountable to Survivors. The tenacity and courage of New Mexico Survivors empowered us to reach a recommended settlement endorsed by nearly every Survivor that voted on the plan.”  

“The OCC always has stood for fair compensation and transparency. The nine members of the OCC have devoted thousands of hours over four years to getting the right result for all Survivors.  This case posed unique challenges, including that all but one of the settling insurance carriers had reached settlement agreements with the Archdiocese that dated back to the 1990s. Each of the nine members of the OCC has contributed to making New Mexico a safer place for children,” said James Stang of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP, bankruptcy counsel to the OCC.

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