Wisconsin Diocese Wants New Trial in Civil Lawsuit

June 15, 2012

Attorneys for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wis., want a new trial in a civil lawsuit won by two victims of clergy sex abuse.

A jury last month awarded $700,000 to brothers Todd and Troy Merryfield in the Outagamie County fraud case.

The brothers claimed the diocese fraudulently misrepresented the safety of former priest John Feeney when it installed him as pastor at a church in the 1970s. They were 12 and 14 when he molested them in 1978.

Dioceses attorneys filed a motion for a new trial last week. They claim a juror’s response on a questionnaire demonstrates the juror was biased.

John Peterson, attorney for Troy Merryfield, tells The Post-Crescent the diocese’s attempt to undo the verdict shows it’s “running out of options.”

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