First scenario: Say you have 15 incidents, all of which are settled.
- Say that an out-of-court settlement is $80,000 per incident.
- Say that you settle all incidents regardless of the facts.
- Say that you pay no attorney’s fees, since the settlements are immediate, you don’t alert the priest, and don’t even listen to the allegations, but simply pay a total of $1,200,000.
Second scenario: Say you have 15 more incidents, all of which are litigated.
- Say that a successfully litigated claim is rewarded $1,200,000.
- For the sake of argument, say that 14 defendants are acquitted.
- Say that the remaining defendant pleads guilty, no contest, does a plea bargain, or is convicted despite pleas of innocence, meaning you now pay out $1,200,000, so that, including an average of $80,000 for each of the 15 cases’ attorneys’ fees ($1,200,000), you’ve now paid out $2,400,000, though you only lost one case… exactly twice as much as immediate settlements for all 15.
Of course, in real life, you’ll probably lose 2/3 cases, meaning, including attorneys fees for all, $13,200,000.
Compare: $1,200,000 in blanket settlements and $13,200,000 in litigated claims in a real world scenario (excluding, unrealistically, that there usually more than one “incident” per case).
If you don’t give a damn about five innocent priests being condemned to loss of priesthood and likely imprisonment, what would you choose to pay out, not forgetting that you get a more genteel treatment with the press if you go for blanket settlements instead of litigation?
Isn’t it the policy of the National Catholic Risk Retention Group, Inc., to go for immediate settlements, thinking that it is better for many innocent men be treated as criminals than to lose… what?… perhaps the chancellorship of Wales, you know, just south-west of Manchester?