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Bankruptcy Could Force Milwaukee Archdiocese To Put Insurance Tapping on Hold


MILWAUKEE, Wis. (WTAQ) - The Milwaukee Archdiocese might have to wait until it emerges from bankruptcy before it can try again to tap insurance to pay off victims of priest molestation.

The Catholic church filed an appeal 2 days before Christmas, asking the State Supreme Court to reverse an appellate court decision from November. But the case was put on hold after the archdiocese filed its petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week.

The church said part of the reason for the bankruptcy was that the church could not use insurance money to pay claims filed by those sexually abused by priests a number of years ago.

Milwaukee’s appellate judges said it would be wrong for the church to tap insurance to pay the claims, because the sex abuse alleged in over a dozen lawsuits was intentional and not an accident.

The church could ask the bankruptcy court to lift the hold order so the Supreme Court could act on the appeal. But archdiocese attorney David Muth would not say if he would seek such a move.

The bankruptcy petition also delayed action on the lawsuits filed by the abuse victims.