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Archdiocese: Insurer Won’t Be Sued

November 18, 2002

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BOSTON (AP) _ The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston denies a report that it will sue one of its largest insurance carriers over the company’s reluctance to pay millions in sex-abuse settlements.

An archdiocese spokeswoman dismissed as ``totally inaccurate″ a report in the Sunday editions of the Boston Herald that a lawsuit against Travelers Insurance Co. would be filed as early as this week.

``There has been no decision made to institute any formal action,″ archdiocese spokeswoman Donna Morrissey said in a statement released Sunday.

The Herald’s report quoted Cardinal Bernard Law’s attorney, J. Owen Todd, as saying the archdiocese would sue to clarify whether Travelers must put some or all of the settlement money, given that the church covered up abuse by some clergy.

Morrissey was unable to confirm or deny whether Todd’s comments were reported accurately. Todd did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press on Sunday.

``It’s ironic that the insurance company is asserting the church engaged in the same cover-up conduct our plaintiffs say the church engaged in _ but is doing so to avoid paying damages under their policies,″ plaintiffs’ attorney Carmen Durso said. ``It appears Travelers may prove our case for us.″

Travelers’ Boston attorney, Thomas F. Maffei, declined to comment. The company underwrites about $65 million on liability coverage for the archdiocese.

At least 325 priests have either been dismissed from their duties or resigned since the sex abuse scandal erupted in Boston early this year.

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