A sexual abuse claim fund created by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester as part of its Chapter 11 plan has reached over $126 million, the diocese recently reported. In a status report filed with a New York bankruptcy court on Friday, July 21, the diocese stated that deals with a pair of its insurers totaling more than $50 million were responsible for the increase. This leaves only one of the diocese’s insurers that hasn’t agreed to pay into the abuse claims trust. Read more
The U.S. Trustee’s Office and two claimant groups filed objections to the proposed deal with the New Jersey Diocese and its insurers. They argue the settlement should be incorporated into the Diocese’s Chapter 11 plan instead of settled separately. The U.S. Trustee is claiming the deal is unreasonable and the two claimant groups argue that the deal would improperly force the claimants to give up their claims against insurance carriers and other parties. The other claimant group of abuse survivors disagree and argued the settlement cannot release their claims because under New Jersey law, the bankruptcy of an insured party does not release insurers from policy liability. “Thus, the statute contractually gives the survivors the opportunity to pursue claims directly against the insurers in the event insolvency of the Diocese prevents satisfaction of a judgment,” it stated.