Tensions With Insurers Mount in Archdiocese of Baltimore Bankruptcy Case

Tensions are growing in the Archdiocese of Baltimore’s bankruptcy case around the role of the church’s insurers.

Baltimore’s arm of the Catholic Church, America’s oldest archdiocese, has sued its insurers for alleged breach of contract in one legal battle. In another argument, the insurers sought to block the committee of abuse survivors in the case from hiring certain experts, suggesting the diocese eventually could back out of bankruptcy.

The archdiocese’s lawsuit alleges its insurers are withholding information about insurance policies that could help cover sexual abuse claims filed in the bankruptcy case. The insurers have to cover at least some claims of child sexual abuse, the church says, but the companies have failed to acknowledge their responsibility to do so.

“The controversy is of sufficient immediacy and magnitude to justify the issuance of a declaratory judgment,” attorneys for the archdiocese wrote.

None of the insurance companies have responded to the lawsuit yet, but the litigation comes as the insurers put forth an argument in the case suggesting the bankruptcy may fall apart.

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