Brothers drop punitive claims against Wis. diocese

Two brothers who were molested by a priest have dropped their claims for punitive damages against the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

Todd and Troy Merryfield said Wednesday that their civil fraud lawsuit against the diocese wasn’t about money. Rather, The Post-Crescent reports, the Merryfields say it was to bring long-held secrets to light.

WLUK-TV reports an Outagamie County judge dismissed all claims for punitive damages against the diocese.

On Monday, a jury awarded the brothers $700,000 in compensatory damages.

The brothers alleged that the Diocese of Green Bay knew the Reverend John Feeney had a history of molesting children. Feeney was convicted of 2004 of sexually assaulting the Merryfields in 1978. The priest has been defrocked.

In a statement Wednesday, the diocese repeated its apology to the Merryfield family.