Last week, New York personal injury law firm Gair, Gair, Conason, Rubinowitz, Bloom, Hershenhorn, Steigman & Mackauf secured what is believed to be the largest individual settlement on record on behalf of an individual arising out of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church.
Gair lawyers Ben Rubinowitz and Peter Saghir represented the plaintiffs, four young boys, whose names are being withheld. The Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens and a local after-school program will pay the total settlement of $27,500,000 which will be divided evenly with each boy receiving $6,875,000.
“While nothing can undo the terrible abuse and harm inflicted on these boys this settlement is a way of ensuring they get the help they need not just now but for the rest of their lives,” said Rubinowitz.
Between 2003 and 2009, Angelo Serrano sexually abused the four young boys who were between the ages of 8 and 12. Serrano was 58 years old at the time of his arrest in 2009 and was a longtime worker at St. Lucy’s St. Patrick’s, a Catholic church in the Clinton Hill section of Brooklyn. Serrano served as a teacher at the church and also as the Director of Religious Education. The abuse occurred inside the church, his apartment which was in the old school house of the church, and at an after-school program.
“Since the sex abuse scandal in Boston was exposed in 2002 the Catholic church has sought to institute policies to protect children from sexual abuse, but it clearly has not done enough to ensure its own policies are being followed. Children are still being hurt,” Saghir said.