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

Bishop announces proposed settlements with two insurance carriers

the Inland Register

(From the April 27, 2006 edition of the Inland Register)

During an April 20 press conference, Bishop William Skylstad announced proposed settlements with two more insurance carriers.

The two carriers, Indiana Insurance Company and ACE Insurance Company, have agreed to pay a combined total of $4.25 million.

The proposed settlement comes on the heels of $5.25 million from General Insurance Company of America.

“When the Diocese of Spokane filed for Chapter 11 Reorganization some 16 months ago, we did so dedicated to two main objectives: continuing the mission of the Catholic Church in Eastern Washington, while achieving justice and healing for victims of abuse,” said Bishop Skylstad. “As a Church, we continue to pray for healing – for ourselves, and for the victims. That is one of the reasons so many people joined me for parts of my day of prayer and penance last month at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes. It is one step forward toward healing for our Church community, and for the wider community of Eastern Washington.”

This announcement adds to the sense of momentum toward resolution of the diocese’s Chapter 11 Reorganization, he said.

The settlements must be approved by the United States Bankruptcy Court and the Federal District Court for Eastern Washington before they can be finalized. “If the settlement offers are accepted and approved by the Courts, everyone involved in this Chapter 11 will have taken a tremendous step toward reconciliation, healing, and closure,” said the bishop.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement with Indiana Insurance, Indiana will pay the diocese a total sum of $2.75 million dollars this year. The proposed settlement with ACE says that ACE will deposit $1.5 million dollars into an interest-bearing account for the benefit of the diocese. Funds will be released to the diocese later this year, after the necessary approvals have been obtained, or at the latest in October 2007, the same month in which the Diocese has agreed to make a significant payment under its proposed settlement with the Tort Litigants Committee.

As is true in the proposed settlement with General Insurance Company, the proposed settlements with Indiana and ACE will not alter whatever obligations to defend or indemnify Indiana and/or ACE may have to Morning Star.

“Today’s announcement is a major step toward bringing the healing and reconciliation we so desperately need within the Catholic community in the Spokane Diocese,” said Bishop Skylstad, “healing and reconciliation for the victims of sexual abuse and also for the entire Catholic community.”

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