Judge Orders Retrial in Wis. Diocese Fraud Case

Posted Wednesday, July 18, 2012 --- 3:16 p.m.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A judge has ordered a new trial after the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay challenged a civil fraud verdict.

WLUK-TV reports Outagamie County judge Nancy Krueger on Wednesday threw out a $700,000 jury award given to two childhood victims of clergy abuse.

An attorney for the diocese, Patrick Brennan, argued a retrial is necessary because jurors who made the award had expressed concerns about possible bias by one of the jury members.

Todd and Troy Merryfield were molested by the Rev. John Feeney in 1978. The brothers said the diocese knew Feeney had a history of sexual misconduct when he was installed as priest at St. Nicholas Church in Freedom.

The Merryfields dropped their punitive damage claim after the May verdict.

Copyright 2012. The Associated Press.

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