January 27, 2005

Insurers Sue Church for Abuse Data

Los Angeles Times

By Jean Guccione
Times Staff Writer

January 27, 2005

Three insurance companies have sued the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, accusing Cardinal Roger M. Mahony of refusing to share information about alleged sex abuse by priests, and precluding scrutiny of his activities as their supervisor.

The insurers have asked a judge to order Mahony to provide documents that could be used to defend the church or to relieve them of liability stemming from allegations by more than 535 people who say they were molested by priests since the 1930s.

"For whatever reasons, the archbishop's [Cardinal Mahony's] apparent goal is to obviate any meaningful disclosure of the facts and circumstances of these claims, and yet to pressure [the insurers] to contribute enormous sums of money" to settle the cases, according to the lawsuit.

The strategy "precludes any public or internal scrutiny of the archbishop's conduct, whether direct or by silent ratification," the lawsuit said.

"They have full access to the files," responded Mahony's lead lawyer, J. Michael Hennigan. "They are supposed to be on our side."

Posted by kshaw at January 27, 2005 07:40 AM