The insurance industry, meanwhile, is still talking about whether the cases of sex abuse still out there are covered by general liability insurance. I don’t blame them. If I were potentially on the hook for a billion dollars worth of lawsuits because of the stupidity or malice of handful of bishops and their underlings, I’d be hesitant to want to pay off on that.
For insurers involved in this marketplace, he said, there is a potential for significant exposures. Currently, Mr. Leahy noted, there are some 900 clergy sexual abuse cases against the U.S. Roman Catholic church in the state of California alone.
But Mr. Leahy said that while the insureds believe they are insured for these losses, there are strong disagreements among many of the insurers on that point.
“Nobody knows what the ultimate outcome of these cases will be. There is a great deal of controversy over whether they are covered or not. These are difficult claims and no one has any idea of what the eventual outcome will be,” Mr. Leahy said.