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Latest settlement talks with nuns in sex-abuse case unsuccessful, pre-trial conference sought

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HELENA, Montana — Attorneys say settlement talks between the Ursuline Sisters of the Western Province and hundreds of people who claim they were sexually abused by priests and nuns have failed.

Plaintiffs' attorney Molly Howard filed a report Tuesday in Lewis and Clark County District Court saying the parties were unable to resolve the case through informal discussions ordered by Judge Jeffrey Sherlock in June.

Ursulines attorney Thomas Johnson said the two sides remain fairly far apart.

Both attorneys say a conference with the judge is needed. The first in a series of trials is scheduled for December.

The Ursulines and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena are defendants in two lawsuits filed by 362 people who say they were abused as children.

The diocese filed for bankruptcy as part of a proposed settlement with the plaintiffs

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