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550 abuse claims filed against Wis. archdiocese

About 550 sex abuse claims filed by Wednesday deadline in Archdiocese of Milwaukee bankruptcy By The Associated Press

MILWAUKEE (AP) ' About 550 people have filed sex abuse claims in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's bankruptcy case.

The archdiocese filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in January 2011, saying sex-abuse lawsuits could leave it with debts it couldn't afford. Church officials have said they have less than $4.6 million available to pay claims.

James Stang, a bankruptcy lawyer who represents creditors in the Milwaukee case, estimates there were 550 claims by Wednesday's deadline. Stang said that tops the number filed in each of eight similar bankruptcy cases that have been filed around the U.S. since the clergy abuse scandal erupted in 2002 in Boston.

A Feb. 9 court hearing is set for a judge to consider an archdiocese request to throw out some claims.

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