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Church Insuror Denies Claim In Wrongful Death Settlement

The Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will not have the benefit of an insurance policy to blunt it’s out of court settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit connected to alleged sex abuse.

In court filings, as reported by the Kansas City Business Journal, Chicago Insurance Company said the $2.5 million diocese payment agreed to July 8 isn’t covered. 

The diocese settled with parents of Brian Teeman as jury selection was underway in Jackson County Circuit Court.

The suit alleged the teenager killed himself in 1983 at age 14 after sexual abuse by his parish priest, Monsignor Thomas O’Brien.  O'Brien agreed to a $2,500 settlement to close the case.

The Journal said court documents show the diocese also spent $1.4 million to fight the claims it eventually settled.

Some questions in the case went to the Missouri Supreme Court which ruled against the church legal case.

Diocese officials were not available for comment.

Among claims the insurer refused to cover are six that were part of a $10 million settlement in 2008 with nearly 50 people who sued over sex abuse complaints.

Quoted court filings said Chicago Insurance claimed the diocese policy didn’t cover situations in the settled cases.  

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