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Home / Case Digests / Court of Appeals — Sex Abuse — Civil Liability: Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA

Court of Appeals — Sex Abuse — Civil Liability: Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA

New York State Court of Appeals

Sex Abuse — Civil Liability

Multiple Occurrences — Apportionment

Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA
No. 69
Judge Rivera

Background: At issue was the apportionment of liability for a settlement between the plaintiff and a minor plaintiff in an underlying civil action charging sexual molestation by a priest. On appeal is whether the multiple occurrences of sexual abuse should be apportioned among the several insurance policies, pro rata.

Ruling: The Court of Appeals affirmed. The court found that the multiple incidents were not part of a singular causal continuum. Further, the definition of “occurrence” in the policies contemplates exposure to toxic materials, not sexual assault. Finally, a pro-rata allocation is consistent with the language of the policies.

David B. Hamm for the appellants; Barbara I. Michaelides for the respondent