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Catholic Charities Settles Abuse Suit

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Catholic Charities of Chicago on Thursday settled for $12 million a lawsuit alleging that three children were abused by their foster parents, attorneys said.

Starting in 1995, the boy and two girls, then ages 1, 2 and 3, were in the care of foster parents licensed by Catholic Charities, said plaintiff's attorney Christopher Hurley.  In 1997, they were removed from the home after teachers discovered cigarette burns on the boy's legs and lower body, Hurley said.

Later, the children testified that they were forced to eat off the floor and were not allowed to use a toilet or bathe in a bathtub or shower, said Hurley's law firm, Hurley McKenna & Mertz, P.C., in a statement.  The settlement came five years after the suit was originally filed, Hurley said.

Spokeswomen for Catholic Charities and the Archdiocese of Chicago could not be reached for comment.

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