4th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals dismisses TEC suit against the Church Insurance Co of Vt for paying claims to breakaway parishes


“Plaintiff Episcopal Church in South Carolina is embroiled in litigation with its former bishop and his adherents. It filed this action against its own insurer—the Church Insurance Company of Vermont—after discovering that the company had reimbursed its adversaries’ defense costs. The district court dismissed the complaint for lack of standing. We agree with that assessment and affirm.”


“Here, common sense says that the Church Insurance Company’s reimbursements have aided the Disassociated Parishes in resisting the claims against them. But whether the Disassociated Parishes would have simply rolled over without Church Insurance Company funding is entirely speculative.”

“In sum, the Associated Diocese lacks standing to pursue any of its four claims against the Church Insurance Company. The judgment of the district court is therefore AFFIRMED.”