Coalition of Child Sex Abuse Survivors and Advocates Urge Department of Financial Services to Investigate Insurance Company Chubb for Blocking Compensation Under Child Victims Act

Letter to DFS Superintendent Adrienne Harris comes ahead of key hearing in case of Chubb v. the Archdiocese of NY

Monday hearing to help determine if Chubb’s lawsuit attempting to evade paying a single Archdiocese related CVA claim is able to move forward; $1 billion on the line for survivors 

NEW YORK, NY (November 24th) — Today, the Coalition for Just and Compassionate Compensation (CJCC) sent a letter calling on the NY Department of Financial Services (DFS) to launch an investigation into Chubb Inc. for failing to cooperate with DFS’ guidance on the Child Victims Act. The letter comes as the multi-billion dollar insurance company, reporting record profits, refuses to fulfill its contractual obligations to finance claims of childhood sexual abuse under the New York State Child Victims Act (CVA). 

Specifically, the open letter cites the DFS’ 2019 Insurance Circular Letter, which outlined the Department’s expectations for insurance companies like Chubb to “cooperate fully with the intent of the Child Victims Act” —  an expectation which Chubb is explicitly rejecting. Further, the letter outlines the damaging legal precedent that Chubb would set if they were to successfully evade payment and the monetary and emotional damage that this would generate across the survivor community. CHUBB has filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block any financial responsibility for itself –– before a single case has been adjudicated. 

“Chubb, the world’s largest property and casualty insurer –– having just reported record profits –– is looking to fatten its bottom line on the backs of child sex abuse survivors, it’s wrong, and we are asking DFS to enforce its existing guidance,” said David Catalfamo, Executive Director of the CJCC.

The CJCC’s open letter was released ahead of an upcoming hearing on Monday, Nov. 27th in the case of Chubb v. the Archdiocese of NY. The case was brought by Chubb against the Archdiocese of New York in an effort to skirt their contractual obligations to pay survivors of child sex abuse the restitution that they deserve – with Chubb claiming that they don’t owe an insurance obligation in any CVA case against the Archdiocese. Monday’s NY County Supreme Court hearing will help determine if this case will be allowed to move forward – with an estimated $1 billion on the line for survivors. 

Since 2019, scores of insurance companies have engaged in prolonged legal battles against their clients affected by the CVA, including hospitalsschoolsthe Boy Scouts, counties, and religious institutions, in order to protect their profit margins at the expense of just compensation for survivors. 

The full letter can be found below:

Dear Superintendent Harris,

We, the Coalition for Just and Compassionate Compensation (CJCC), write to you regarding Chubb Inc., who has refused to pay Child Victims Act (CVA) insurance claims on behalf of their insured, the Archdiocese of New York –– fully disregarding your office’s 2019 CVA guidance letter –– which states that insurance companies should “cooperate fully with the intent of the Child Victims Act” and should “act in good faith to address their liabilities.”    

The CJCC is an advocacy organization composed of survivors of child sex abuse, their representatives, and advocates. We are committed to ensuring that survivors receive the full monetary restitution they deserve by making sure insurance companies hold up their end of the bargain – a responsibility that Chubb is aggressively attempting to evade in court.   

As you are aware, the Child Victims Act of 2019 changed the statute of limitations in New York State to extend the timeframe for which survivors could bring civil and criminal legal action against their abusers. One of the largest group of cases involves the Archdiocese of New York. Having already settled over 100 of these cases on its own, the ADNY has expressed its intention to move expeditiously to settle those that remain. 

However, in order to provide full restitution, the Archdiocese needs its primary insurer, Chubb, to fulfill its insurance obligation and assist in paying out these damages. Now, Chubb has commenced court proceedings with the goal of reneging on its commitment even though the Archdiocese has paid millions of dollars in premiums to insure coverage. 

It is clear that Chubb is actively pushing to circumvent the judicial process and short-change survivors by claiming that they do not owe an insurance obligation for any single CVA case involving the NY Archdiocese. It is a cynical but tried and true practice of some in the insurance industry to delay, deny, and defend. Chubb knows that every month that is spent in litigation, another survivor dies, lessening their potential liability. 

To that end, we are calling on you to investigate Chubb and its policies regarding compensation and coverage for damages regarding CVA cases, policies which Chubb has employed nationwide as evidenced by a similar lawsuit it brought against the Archdiocese of San Francisco. 

The precedent that Chubb is seeking to establish here will have profound impacts on claims far beyond those involving the Archdiocese, and as such, the Department of Financial Services has an obligation to make clear to Chubb –– and all insurance carriers in the State of New York ––they will fulfill their obligations. 

The legislature and governor of the state of New York enacted the Child Victims Act to provide a mechanism of relief and justice for victims of child abuse. It is time for the preeminent insurer in the state of New York, Chubb Insurance, to step up and honor its obligations to contribute toward this important policy objective. In compliance with the spirit and intent of the CVA, the Department of Financial Services has requested and expected that Chubb, an entity that enjoys the benefit of conducting business within the state making significant profits, will meet its obligations to its insureds. Its bad faith failure to cooperate requires intervention from DFS at this time.  

If Chubb refuses to fulfill its obligation to its customers, it is the survivors who will pay the price. The CJCC believes that survivors should be paid what they deserve, and know you do as well, as our state’s stewards for the financial protection of consumers. We thank you in advance for your efforts in upholding your office’s position on this matter. 


The Coalition for Just and Compassionate Compensation

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 Partner 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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