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Appeals court rules Milwaukee Archdiocese can't pay abuse victims with insurance

A Wisconsin Appeals Court says the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese can't use insurance money to pay off clergy abuse victims. The ruling comes as the church is in mediation with about one dozen people who have filed lawsuits over past alleged abuse.

A Wisconsin Appeals Court says the Milwaukee Catholic Archdiocese can't use insurance money to pay off clergy abuse victims. The ruling comes as the church is in mediation with about one dozen people who have filed lawsuits over past alleged abuse.

The Appeals Court has upheld circuit court rulings that said the Archdiocese's insurance policy covers accidents. The Appellate court says any misrepresentations made by the church or priests in abuse cases were intentional.

Peter Isely, Midwest director of the victims group SNAP, says about a dozen abuse victims who are in mediation started by Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki have just had their cases strengthened. He says he hopes Archbishop Listecki becomes more interested in settling the cases, if it's clear insurance money won't bailout the church.

But the Milwaukee Archdiocese says it's likely to ask the state Supreme Court to review the appellate court ruling. Archdiocese spokeswoman Julie Wolf says the hope was that insurance money could help the victims and church move forward.

Wolf declines comment on the status of the mediation involving the abuse victims, saying all parties are pledging confidentiality.

Related Topics: CRIME
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