Iowa Diocese to Review Insurance Policies Dating Back to 1950

July 2, 2007

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Davenport is seeking to review its insurance policies dating back more than a half century.

The diocese filed a joint motion with a creditor’s committee asking a bankruptcy court to approve the review of the church’s insurance back to 1950.

The motion filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court said Travelers Cos. was providing a defense to some of the claims before the diocese filed for bankruptcy in October. It asks the court to subpoena all Travelers’ documents regarding the diocese’s insurance coverage from 1950 to 2007.

The information “will directly impact the availability of funds for distribution to the creditors,” the motion states.

The creditor’s committee includes individuals who have filed claims of sexual abuse by priests against the diocese, which filed bankruptcy in the face of mounting litigation.

Representatives of the diocese and the creditors’ committee have said that one of the biggest obstacles to settling bankruptcy claims could be disputes with insurance companies regarding coverage.

The motion states that Travelers has cooperated with providing documents to the diocese, but claims subpoenas are necessary to determine the extent of insurance coverage.

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