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First trials planned in Catholic sex-abuse cases

By Associated Press
Published On: Jul 24 2013 01:56:17 PM MDT
CHURCH ABUSE
HELENA, Mont. -

Attorneys alleging that hundreds of Montanans were sexually abused by Catholic clergy say attempts to mediate a settlement have been stymied by insurance companies' challenges over which claims they are obligated to cover.
    
So all sides are laying out plans for the first of what could be a number of trials beginning in December.
    
The two lawsuits include 360 plaintiffs who claim the Roman Catholic Diocese of Helena knew they were being abused as children from the 1930s through the 1970s.
    
Diocese attorney Mike Patterson told District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock Wednesday the sides met in three mediation sessions, but the case can't be settled without funding from the insurance providers.
    
The insurers say they should not have to pay damages for abuse that occurred before their policies went into effect.