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Head of NH’s YDC victim abuse settlement fund says $100M may be insufficient

The Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, N.H.
Dan Tuohy
The Sununu Youth Services Center, the former Youth Development Center, in Manchester, N.H.

The administrator of the compensation fund for people abused at the former Youth Development Center says its $100 million budget may not be enough.

In testimony before the legislature’s Joint Fiscal Committee, John Broderick told top lawmakers Friday the state should consider spending more and lifting damage caps to persuade victims to settle claims outside of court. Broderick stressed that, so far, few victims have settled.

"If you look at the amount of claims filed, the gross amount of all the claims sought, already, for 92 claims, it's $82 million,” Broderick said. “You can do the math."

Another 1,000 people who allege they were physically and sexually abused at the state's lone youth detention center, stretching back for decades, are planning to sue the state.

Those civil trials are expected to begin next year.

Broderick, former Chief Justice of New Hampshire’s Supreme Court, said he wasn't sure how the state would hold and pay for that flood of trials.

Broderick was appointed as a neutral claims administrator per an agreement late last year between Attorney General John Formella and the claimants’ attorneys.

Formella, meanwhile, won quick approval from the committee for $7 million in new funding to offset higher than expected state legal costs springing from what he called a number of “particularly complex and labor-intensive cases.”

Of that new money, $4 million will go toward Youth Development Center abuse cases.

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