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Archdiocese reaches settlement with insurer

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BRIGHTON –– The Archdiocese of Boston has reached a settlement with one of its former insurers, Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Group. The archdiocese sued Lumbermens in March last year after settling over 500 abuse claims for $85 million in September 2003. Settlement negotiations with another insurer are ongoing.

"We are pleased to have the matter resolved," said Father John Connolly, special assistant to the archbishop, in a March 7 press release announcing the settlement. "We are hopeful that, in the near future, we will be in a position to begin discussions about how to resolve pending cases."

The archdiocese is not yet releasing any information about the terms of the settlement or what the money would be used for.

"In keeping with the arch-bishop's commitment to sharing financial information publicly, the archdiocese expects to discuss the financial terms of this agreement in the near future," said Kelly Lynch, a spokesperson for the archdiocese.

The Associated Press, citing two unnamed sources, reported the amount of the settlement was $20 million and was agreed upon by Lumbermens and the archdiocesan finance council.

After the archdiocese settled abuse claims in 2003, Lumbermens denied any obligation to the archdiocese, calling the settlement a “voluntary payment.” The archdiocese sued in 2004 for fraud and breach of contract, and Lumbermens countersued, saying the archdiocese owed the company money.

The archdiocese estimated that the incidents of abuse that account for $59.3 million of the settlement’s payments took place while Lumbermens was the archdiocese’s only insurer. Incidents accounting for another $7.7 million occurred when coverage overlapped with another insurer.

AP materials contributed to this report

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