APPLETON - Todd and Troy Merryfield won't be back in a court room anytime soon.
After having their initial lawsuit verdict versus the Green Bay Catholic Diocese thrown out, the brothers have settled for the same amount of money they were originally awarded: $700,000.
"I know that Todd and Troy Merryfield are glad to not go through another trial and that the diocese paid the verdict," said Jeff Anderson, the lawyer for the Merryfields.
Former priest John Feeney was convicted of abusing the Merryfields while Feeney worked at a Freedom church in 1978. The brothers sued the diocese for fraud. They claimed the diocese knew Feeney had an abusive history, but didn't tell parishioners.
Last May, a jury sided with the Merryfields. However, the verdict was tossed out after a juror allegedly told other jurors she suspected Feeney may have abused her brother.
"The settlement of this case is in no way a capitulation, it's just an acceptance that child protection goals can't be necessarily any better served by going through another trial," said Anderson.
"I would like to say I am truly sorry to Todd Merryfield and Troy Merryfield, as well as their families, for the pain they have endured from child sexual abuse and the lawsuits that followed," Bishop David Ricken said in a news release. "I hope and pray that they can experience God's healing presence within their hearts."
The attorney for the Merryfields said the diocese's statement deficient.
"As long as they deny responsibility and continue to and apologize only for the offenders, there is a big problem in the community and the Diocese of Green Bay," said Anderson.
Todd Merryfield told us he and his brother are planning to talk publicly about the settlement on Friday. He did say today they are relieved the lawsuit is over.
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