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Insurance Claims in Molestation Cases

Time period of molestation can determine number of occurrences for insurance claims.

Key point. A child who is molested over a number of years may represent more than one "occurrence" of personal injury under a church insurance policy.

A federal appeals court ruled that several children who were molested over a number of years by two priests represented multiple "occurrences" under a church insurance policy. Two pedophile priests molested 31 children over a 7—year period. The priests were sued, along with their diocese, and a question arose as to the number of "occurrences" the numerous incidents of molestation represented under the diocese's insurance policies. These policies provided insurance to the diocese on a "per occurrence" basis. The more occurrences that occurred, the more insurance coverage that was available. The court acknowledged that defining this term in the context of multiple acts of molestation occurring over several years is difficult: "An ...

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Posted:
  • March 1, 1996

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