Insurer Loses Appeal over Pedophile-priest Settlements
By Josh Russell
Courthouse News Service
September 19, 2018
The Second Circuit affirmed Wednesday that an insurer should have indemnified the Hartford Roman Catholic Diocese for its settlements with four victims of pedophile priests from the 1970s and 1980s.
Three priests and four victims are described in the 19-page decision. With regard to two of the priests, Father Robert Ladamus and Father Stephen Crowley, the court notes that it is uncontested that the archdiocese had no notice that the priests posed a risk to children before the assaults in question.
As for the third priest, Father Ivan Ferguson, however, two church pastors at St. Bernardís heard reports in 1978 and 1979 from three different mothers who said that Ferguson had molested their sons.
Ferguson himself put the archdiocese on notice meanwhile when he called the secretary of the archbishop in 1979 to say that he had molested two boys and had an alcohol problem.
Though the archbishop tried to send Ferguson to a rehabilitation center for sexual dysfunction, the ruling notes that the House of Affirmation could not accommodate Ferguson, and that the priest was sent instead to a treatment center for alcoholism.
At this facility, the St. Luke Institute, a priest who served as medical director concluded that alcoholism had triggered Ferguson?s pedophilia.