South Carolina: Settlement reached in insurance lawsuit

Posted Dec 4, 2014

[The Episcopal Church in South Carolina] The Episcopal Church in South Carolina has reached a settlement with The Church Insurance Company of Vermont of its insurance coverage lawsuit.

The settlement brings to an end a dispute in U.S. District Court between TECSC and the insurance company, which is a captive insurance company affiliated with The Episcopal Church. Under the terms of the agreement, details of the settlement are confidential.

“We are pleased with the outcome of the settlement and grateful to have this matter resolved,” said the Right Rev. Charles G. vonRosenberg, Bishop of TECSC.

The insurance claim related to a lawsuit filed in Dorchester County in January 2013 by former church leaders who have left The Episcopal Church, but who continue to claim the right to the name and service marks of the “Protestant Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina.”

The insurance company initially denied coverage under the diocese’s commercial liability policy. TECSC filed a lawsuit in federal court, and in January, U.S. District Judge Patrick Michael Duffy ruled that CIC-Vermont had a duty to defend the diocese in the case. The judge affirmed that ruling in an order filed September 22.

In the Dorchester County suit, a three-week trial was held in July before Circuit Court Judge Diane S. Goodstein. The judge has instructed both sides to submit proposed orders for her to review by December 10, according to Thomas S. Tisdale Jr., chancellor of TECSC. A ruling could come at any time after those filings are complete.