Coalition Launches to Hold Insurance Companies Responsible to Pay for Child Sex Abuse Claims

NEW YORK, November 13, 2023 — The Coalition for Just and Compassionate Compensation (“CJCC”), a new 501c4, launched today to hold insurance companies responsible for their contractual obligations to pay claims of childhood sexual abuse under the New York State Child Victims Act (CVA). Since 2019, scores of insurance companies have engaged in prolonged legal battles against their clients affected by the CVA, including hospitals, schools, the Boy Scouts, counties, and religious institutions, in order to protect their profit margins at the expense of just compensation for survivors.

Today, as survivors wait for restitution, Chubb is fighting in court to sidestep its responsibilities by claiming it doesn’t owe an insurance obligation for any single CVA case involving the Archdiocese of New York – before a single case has even been litigated. If successful, thousands of survivors of childhood sexual abuse in New York will receive pennies on the dollar for restitution. Survivors of childhood sexual abuse have claims at an estimated cost of $1 billion that Chubb has made clear it has no intention to pay – despite having a market capitalization of over $85 billion. This comes at a time when at least eight insurance brokers fight to keep their policy records from being subpoenaed in the Buffalo Diocese bankruptcy case and continue to delay justice for sexual abuse survivors.

To shine a light on the bad behavior of insurance companies, advocates, survivors, and their representatives are launching a major advocacy campaign and calling on state regulators and policymakers to hold billion-dollar insurance companies accountable for trying to circumvent the intention of the CVA and denying restitution to survivors.

New York survivors and advocates fought tirelessly for years to pass the CVA, and in 2019, they succeeded in offering survivors of child sexual abuse the opportunity to file back claims and receive just compensation for the abuse they experienced. After the CVA was passed, New York State’s Department of Financial Services released guidance for all insurance companies to fully cooperate with the intent of the Child Victims Act. As institutions grapple with the enormous potential liability, insurers in New York and across America, after years of collecting hundreds of millions in premiums, are attempting to skirt their obligations.

“We are not going to let the insurance industry make survivors of childhood sexual abuse victims of insurance irresponsibility,” said James R. Marsh, an attorney representing hundreds of child sexual abuse survivors. “In reality, these reimbursements are a drop in the bucket for big insurers. For survivors, fair compensation is all they want after fighting decades for justice. Chubb – and insurance companies like it – must be held accountable and finally fulfill their obligations to policyholders and the ultimate beneficiaries who are the victims of childhood sexual abuse.”

“After years and years of suffering, the Child Victims Act gave sexually abused children a voice and a chance at justice but the insurance companies have held out compensation to simply delay justice,” said Richard Tollner, an abuse survivor and Chair of the Diocese of Rockville Centre Unsecured Creditors Committee representing survivors. “The insureds paid their premiums and now insurance carriers should pay as required. It is time to stand and deliver fair compensation long overdue from the insurance companies.”

“For survivors of childhood sexual abuse, the opportunity to receive restitution symbolizes closure and justice. Unfortunately, Chubb’s attempts to refuse payment is particularly egregious and puts this justice in jeopardy,” said David Catalfamo, Executive Director of the CJCC. “We’ve seen time and time again that survivors are the ones who ultimately pay the price if insurers refuse to fulfill their obligations. The CJCC believes strongly that multi billion-dollar insurers like Chubb must be held accountable and live up to their contractual obligations. It’s time for policymakers, the New York State Department of Financial Services, and the public to hold Chubb accountable.”

The Coalition for Just and Compassionate Compensation (“CJCC”) is an independent alliance of survivors of child sex abuse, their representatives, and advocates seeking full restitution for survivors of child sex abuse. Among members of the coalition are former New York State Court of Claims Judge Judith Hard and attorneys James Marsh, Founding Parter at Marsh Law Firm, Jeff Herman, Founder of Herman Law Firm, and Hillary Nappi, Partner at Hach Rose Schirripa & Cheverie, who represent thousands of sexual abuse survivors in litigation against public and private entities.

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