In a proposed settlement, the Diocese of Rochester agreed to pay $55 million to survivors of sexual abuse.
“This proposed settlement sends a clear message that insurance companies cannot hold these bankrupt dioceses hostage and force abuse survivors to agree to cheap settlements,” said Jason Amala who represents 30 victims. “The proposed settlement marks a paradigm shift in how these bankruptcies are being handled. Rather than let the insurance companies refuse to negotiate fairly and delay its bankruptcy any further, the Diocese and its parishes have agreed to pay a significant amount of their available assets and are assigning their insurance rights to a settlement trust. The Diocese will now get to emerge from bankruptcy sooner than later, and survivors can move forward with their lawsuits in order to force the insurance companies to live up to their contractual obligations.”
The proposed settlement must be voted on by the survivors who filed a claim and then must be approved by a U.S. Bankruptcy Court.
The Diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2019 after the NY Child Victims Act opened a one-year window for survivors of childhood sex abuse to file claims for the abuse they suffered. That window was ultimately extended by an additional year.
Media coverage about the lawsuit:
Reuters, “Bankrupt New York diocese reaches $55 million sexual abuse settlement“