APPLETON, WI (WTAQ) - The Green Bay Catholic diocese will get a second chance to avoid civil liability for allowing a former priest to molest two boys 34 years ago. Outagamie County Circuit Judge Nancy Krueger ordered a new trial for the church – and she threw out the jury’s $700,000 compensatory damage award against the plaintiffs, Todd and Troy Merryfield. Soon after the verdict, another juror brought to light comments from another juror that may have proved biased against the church. The judge then asked both parties to file motions. the judge said the biased juror mentioned the possibility that a relative once attended a parish when it was led by the abusive pastor, Father John Feeney. The juror also said she knew a relative of the Merryfields. The brothers claimed that the Green Bay Diocese hid the fact Feeney had a record as a pedophile when he became the new pastor of the Merryfields’ church in Freedom. The jury awarded compensatory damages for the Merryfields. But the two decided against seeking punitive damages against the church, saying it was more interested that the truth be known.
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