“Top court won’t hear appeal in fight over who pays for priests’ sex abuse” & related articles

Share Button

The Western Star (Newfoundland)

Published on April 24, 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal of a decision won by the insurer of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s in a battle over who pays for compensating victims who were sexually abused by priests.

Father James Hickey is shown in these submitted photos. — Submitted photos

Today, the country’s top court dismissed the Episcopal Corp.’s request for leave to appeal, awarding court costs to Guardian Insurance Co. of Canada.

“Our position is we always felt the (Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador) Court of Appeal decision was right and proper and that it allows the determination of whether or not the Episcopal Corp. prior to obtaining the policy of insurance from our clients about the abuses carried by members of the clergy and in particular James Hickey,” said St. John’s lawyer Philip Buckingham, who represents Guardian.The fight over who pays stretches to 1989 when a minor filed a claim against the Episcopal Corp. related to allegations of sexual abuse by James Hickey, a priest in the St. John’s diocese, between 1982 and 1988.

A year before, Hickey, who died in 1992, had pleaded guilty to 20 charges of sexual assault, gross indecency and indecent assault involving teenage boys.

In evidence brought to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011, Guardian, in defending its case in the suits, claimed church leaders were aware prior to 1980 of allegations against Father James Hickey and said the church is not acting in good faith in dealing with subsequent civil suits.

The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador sided with the Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s in ordering the insurer to honour its policy based on a 1992 ruling to do so. But in 2013, the Court of Appeal ruled instead in favour of Guardian.

A trial to determine what church officials knew about the abuse and when they knew it will get underway after January 2015.

_____________________________

Top court won’t hear appeal in fight over who pays for priests’ sex abuse

The Telegram (St. John’s, Newfoundland)

Published on April 24, 2014

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to hear an appeal of a decision won by the insurer of the Roman Catholic Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s in a battle over who pays for compensating victims who were sexually abused by priests.

Father James Hickey is shown in these submitted photos. — Submitted photos

Today, the country’s top court dismissed the Episcopal Corp.’s request for leave to appeal, awarding court costs to Guardian Insurance Co. of Canada.“Our position is we always felt the (Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador) Court of Appeal decision was right and proper and that it allows the determination of whether or not the Episcopal Corp. prior to obtaining the policy of insurance from our clients about the abuses carried by members of the clergy and in particular James Hickey,” said St. John’s lawyer Philip Buckingham, who represents Guardian.The fight over who pays stretches to 1989 when a minor filed a claim against the Episcopal Corp. related to allegations of sexual abuse by James Hickey, a priest in the St. John’s diocese, between 1982 and 1988.

A year before, Hickey, who died in 1992, had pleaded guilty to 20 charges of sexual assault, gross indecency and indecent assault involving teenage boys.

In evidence brought to the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2011, Guardian, in defending its case in the suits, claimed church leaders were aware prior to 1980 of allegations against Father James Hickey and said the church is not acting in good faith in dealing with subsequent civil suits.

The Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador sided with the Episcopal Corp. of St. John’s in ordering the insurer to honour its policy based on a 1992 ruling to do so. But in 2013, the Court of Appeal ruled instead in favour of Guardian.

A trial to determine what church officials knew about the abuse and when they knew it will get underway after January 2015.

_______________________________________

Supreme Court to rule on financial responsibility

Church battles insurance company over sexual abuse settlements

4 Responses to “Top court won’t hear appeal in fight over who pays for priests’ sex abuse” & related articles

  1. Sylvia says:

    I’m going to dig up and post the previous rulings from the Newfoundland courts – will let you know when they are posted.

    How much money was spent fighting this? It has to be a small fortune? And that in turn begs the question: how much money is being paid out in settlements?

    No matter – this goes to trial some time next year. It will be interesting indeed to find out at trial what exactly the archdiocese did know about Father Hickey and when

  2. Sylvia says:

    I already had the 2011 decision of the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador posted. I have added some links to it and have in turn linked it in to the above article. For ease of access now, here it is:

    31 September 2011: .John Doe v Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St. John’s (St. John’s Archdiocese v Guardian Insurance and John Doe)

  3. Sylvia says:

    The2013 decision of the Newfoundland and Labrador Court of Appeal has been added to the site. Here is the link:

    07 November 2013: Guardian Insurance Company of Canada v Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of St Johns and John Doe

  4. Liam Connelly says:

    In cases I dealt with years ago, I have been up against Lawyers for Guardian Ins. This does not surprise me, they are tenacious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *