Iowa Diocese Asks Court for Time to Negotiate with Insurers

August 16, 2007

The Davenport, Iowa Diocese has asked for more time to file its reorganization plan while it negotiates with insurance companies to compensate victims of clergy abuse.

The diocese, which filed for bankruptcy last October after facing mounting sexual abuse lawsuits, was scheduled to submit its plan by Wednesday, Aug. 15th, but ask that the deadline be extended to Oct. 1. The diocese would have until Nov. 30 to get the plan approved.

The diocese requested the extension in a motion filed jointly by local attorney Richard Davidson, who represents the diocese, and Hamid Rafatjoo, an attorney in Los Angeles who represents the claimants.

According to the motion, the diocese received 156 claims of sexual abuse by its July 15 deadline, including a “substantial amount” that were filed within the final two weeks before the bar date. To analyze the claims and determine what liability coverage may exist, the diocese needs more time, the motion states. Many of the claims date back to the 1950s and 1960s.

Also in the motion, the diocese said it is trying to establish proof of insurance coverage during certain years. The diocese expects the insurance coverage would add millions of dollars to the value of the estate that could be used to compensate victims, the motion states.

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