Green Bay diocese settles suit with abuse victims

Two brothers to receive $700,000

MADISON, Wis. - The Diocese of Green Bay has settled a lawsuit brought by two brothers who accused the diocese of fraud.

Todd and Troy Merryfield alleged the diocese withheld knowledge of a former priest's prior sexual misconduct. The Rev. John Feeney later was convicted of sexually abusing the brothers in the late 1970s when they were boys.

Court records indicate that the suit was dismissed Monday by Outagamie County Judge Nancy Krueger.

Bishop David Ricken issued a statement apologizing to the Merryfields and all victims of child sexual abuse.

Under the settlement, the Merryfields will receive $700,000 -- the same amount a jury awarded to the brothers last year.  But the judge overturned that verdict and ordered a new trial after ruling a juror had been biased.

A retrial had been scheduled for May.

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