Five families whose children were sexually assaulted by a teacher at a Toowoomba primary school have reached an out of court settlement with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba.
Slater & Gordon lawyer Damian Scattini says the families are relieved their cases have been settled without the added trauma of court proceedings.
“They are also grateful the church has this week made serious and genuine efforts to do the right thing – after the Catholic education system failed to heed the initial warnings about this teacher.
“In particular they appreciate the sensitive handling of this matter by Bishop William Morris.”
The Most Rev William Morris DD, Bishop of Toowoomba, has again offered his apologies to the victims.
“I am committed to ensuring that our apology is supported by action.
“The Diocese sought to make the compensation process as uncomplicated as possible for the victims' families. I sincerely thank the victims' families for the courageous and heartfelt manner in which they participated in the mediation process.
“I am pleased that for these five victims and their families an expeditious settlement was able to achieved, as it is another step on their long journey of healing,” Bishop Morris said.
Settlement was reached this week after a two-day mediation between the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba and the five families, represented by Slater & Gordon. The mediation was conducted by former High Court judge Ian Callinan QC.
The compensation amounts are confidential. Further cases will be dealt with in the new year.
The claims arise from incidents which occurred at a Toowoomba primary school in 2007-2008. A former school teacher was sentenced to 10 years jail after facing 46 charges relating to 13 girls aged nine and 10.