Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Diocese announces proposed $5.25 million settlement with insurance carrier

the Inland Register

(From the April 6, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

At a March 30 press conference, Father Steve Dublinski, Vicar General of the Spokane Diocese, announced a major financial agreement with one of the diocese’s main insurance carriers, General Insurance Company of America, regarding diocesan insurance coverage related to sexual abuse by clergy.

General Insurance, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Safeco Corp., has agreed to a proposed settlement of $5.25 million.

Father Dublinski explained that Bishop Skylstad could not be present for the press conference – the bishop was in Washington D.C. – but expressed the bishop’s gratitude for progress.

The proposed settlement, said Father Dublinski, was a step toward healing and reconciliation, and indicated progress toward resolution of the diocese’s Chapter 11 Reorganization.

The proposed settlement must be approved by both the United States Bankruptcy Court and the Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Washington before it can be finalized. A motion for approval of this settlement will be filed promptly, according to a press statement from Safeco. Under the terms of the proposed settlement, General will deposit $5.25 million into an interest-bearing account for the benefit of the Diocese. These funds will be released to the Diocese in October 2007, the same month in which the Diocese has agreed to settle claims brought by the Tort Litigants Committee, which represents 75 individual claimants.

Shaun Cross, one of the attorneys representing the diocese in the Chapter 11 proceedings, called the settlement offer significant progress.

The diocese is continuing negotiations with other insurance companies. The proposed settlement with General Insurance is part of the financing involved in the recent settlement offer made by the diocese to 75 victims of abuse. That offer includes $45.75 million in financial considerations.

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