After more than three years of intense work, a group of attorneys representing approximately 475 sexual abuse survivors in claims against the Diocese of Rochester, New York, have negotiated a settlement to resolve the Diocese’s Chapter 11 case. The settlement provides that the Diocese and related entities will pay $55 million to a trust for the benefit of survivors and assign valuable insurance rights to that trust to pursue a more substantial recovery from the insurers. Many survivors will also be able to pursue their claims in court against the Diocese and related entities in order to recover proceeds from their insurance policies.
“The Diocese’s insurers have not come forward with a sufficient settlement, and this agreement gives survivors the tools needed to seek an appropriate settlement from the Diocese’s insurers” said Tim Burns, who is serving as insurance counsel to the Official Creditors Committee in the litigation. “There is much work to be done but this is a major step forward for these survivors.”
The negotiated settlement will be incorporated into a plan of reorganization that survivors will have an opportunity to vote on. Perpetrators and non-affiliates of the Diocese, such as religious orders, are not included in the settlement and will not be released.