Expatica news

Priest sex abuse an ‘industrial accident’

20 August 2004

AMSTERDAM — The Dutch Catholic Church has gone to court to force insurer Aegon to reimburse a damages pay-out to a girl who was sexually abused by a priest.  The Bishop of Rotterdam claims the abuse was an industrial accident and was covered by the Church’s liability insurance, it was reported Friday.

The Church’s legal action against the insurance company began with a preliminary hearing behind closed doors in a court in The Hague on Wednesday, newspaper De Telegraaf reported. Is it expected the court will hear the case in full within the next six weeks.

The girl was six when she was abused by the priest in Rotterdam. She took a claim against the diocese and in February 2000 she was awarded NLG 100,000 (EUR 45,000) compensation. The priest was prosecuted for the sexual abuse.

Rotterdam diocese wants Aegon to reimburse it with EUR 58,000 to cover the full cost of dealing with the case because it claims the abuse should formally be seen as an industrial accident.

To support its claim, it argues the abuse was committed by a clergyman during work hours and in his work place, his local parish. It further argues that there is a risk that a priest performing his pastoral work may carry out such an attack.

Aegon told the De Telegraaf it could not comment on the matter as it is before the courts but confirmed the insurer is refusing to cover the cost of the compensation claim.

[Copyright Expatica 2004]

Subject: Dutch news, Catholic Church and sex abuse