July 14, 2005

Insurer key partner in church settlement

The Cincinnati Post

By Paul A. Long
Post staff reporter

The Diocese of Covington's demand that its insurance carrier pay at least two-thirds of its $120 million settlement with victims of priest sexual abuse is in line with other settlements around the United States, according to lawyers familiar with the issue and a review of other agreements.

But the diocese's decision to sue for that money is unusual, although not unprecedented.

The $120 million proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the diocese calls for at least $80 million to come from insurance companies that have covered the diocese over the past 50 years.

Although that includes several companies, the main one appears to be Catholic Mutual Group, which has its headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

The company - a self-insurance fund that is part of the Catholic Church - has said it was not invited to the negotiations where a final settlement was reached.

But both the Covington Diocese and those who have sued it dispute that, saying the company refused to participate and arbitrarily said it would deny or limit coverage.

Posted by kshaw at July 14, 2005 06:06 PM