Multi-million dollar insurance settlement announced for Diocese of Springfield

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Bishop Timothy McDonnell announced an insurance settlement worth $60 million on Tuesday. A tornado ripped through Springfield and western Massachusetts and damaged several properties owned by the diocese. Cathedral High School was the most heavily damaged.

The diocese and their insurance company Catholic Mutual Group had been in a sort of mediation since 2011 trying to sort out the details. Bishop McDonnell said the insurance company wanted to pay out $15 million, while the diocese requested $70 million.

The original policy was for replacement, meaning any repair or rebuilding had to be done on an existing footprint. Under the settlement, the diocese was no longer under those restrictions. McDonnell said Cathedral High School was originally built in 1959 for 3,000 students. Currently their enrollment is around 500.

Inspectors still needed to look at the structural steel of the building to determine whether some or all of the building needed to be torn down. McDonnell said whatever happens, the new school would be much smaller to accommodate fewer students. A majority of the insurance claim, nearly $50 million was earmarked for work at Cathedral High School.

Bishop McDonnell said this was the largest single claim paid out by the non-profit insurance company.

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