Wall Street Journal
Helena Diocese to Ask for Approval of Insurance Settlement for Abuse Cases
By TOM CORRIGAN CONNECT
Aug. 29, 2014
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena in western Montana will soon ask a bankruptcy judge to approve a key settlement with its insurance carriers that will be used to compensate about 380 individuals who allege they were sexually abused by clergy members.
According to a legal notice released Thursday, a $10.9 million settlement with six insurance carriers would be used to fund a proposed $15 million compensation package.
In exchange, the insurance carriers would receive immunity from any future lawsuits related to the abuse claims.
“The insurance companies are in effect buying back their policies from the diocese, and the money is going to the settlement of the claims,” said Dan Bartleson, a spokesman for the diocese.
Ford Elsaesser, an attorney for the diocese, said Friday that the church would formally ask Judge Terry Myers of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Butte, Mont., for approval of the settlement within a matter of days.
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