Catholic archdiocese sues insurers over future abuse claims
NEW YORK — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York has sued more than two dozen insurance companies, seeking to compel them to cover claims filed by people who say they were abused by clerics.
Church officials anticipate that numerous alleged abuse victims will sue under New York’s Child Victims Act, which gives victims a year to file claims alleging sex abuse that were previously barred by the statute of limitations.
The archdiocese, the nation’s second-largest after Los Angeles, says in its lawsuit filed Friday in Manhattan state Supreme Court that many of its insurers ‘‘intend to dispute, limit, or deny coverage’’ for abuse claims filed in response to the Child Victims Act, which Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law in February.
James R. Marsh, a lawyer for 40 plaintiffs planning to sue the archdiocese for sex abuse, called the lawsuit against the insurers an important sign for abuse survivors ‘‘since it indicates that the church is preparing to defend against lawsuits by those who experienced childhood sexual abuse and possibly seeking to fund settlements using insurance money for at least some of those claims.’’