Priest's Multiple Acts of Sexual Molestation Constitute Multiple Occurrences; Settlement of Resulting Liabilities Subject to Pro Rata Allocation
Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v National Union Fire Ins. Co. of Pittsburgh, PA., 2013 N.Y. LEXIS 1186 (N.Y. May 7, 2013)
The New York Court of Appeals considered for "the first time" the meaning of an "occurrence" in the context of numerous incidents of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest spanning several years and policy periods. Newly confirmed Court of Appeals Judge Jenny Rivera issued the Court's majority opinion. Applying New York's "unfortunate events" test to calculate the number of occurrences, the Court concluded that multiple acts of sexual abuse of a minor by a priest gave rise to multiple occurrences, and that responsibility to reimburse the resulting settlement sum must be allocated among all implicated policies on the risk on a pro rata basis.