SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The passing of Bishop Emeritus Howard Hubbard is now impacting a lawsuit that has been several years in the making.
The case of former St. Clare’s hospital workers in Schenectady, who didn’t receive some or all of the pension money they were owed, remains unresolved. Mary Hartshorne, Chair of the St. Clare’s Pension Recovery Alliance, said the past few months of the case have felt like big steps forward, followed by steps backward. Most recently, a stay was placed on the lawsuit because Hubbard, a defendant, passed away.
“Another delay? I just don’t quite know how much more we can take,” Hartshone said.
When the Diocese filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, a hold was placed on the lawsuit over the loss of pensions. The Diocese didn’t oppose a motion by the pensioners to lift the automatic stay, and a bankruptcy judge ruled in their favor, allowing their case to move forward in state court, along with the Attorney General’s lawsuit.
The passing of Hubbard has triggered another stay on the litigation until September 21, when the court will require counsel to provide an update.
“With all due respect to the bishop dying,” Hartshorne said, “for us, we are losing people too. Our pensioners are dying.”
The news of Hubbard’s passing brings up complicated emotions for Hartshorne. The Attorney General’s lawsuit alleges the St. Clare’s Corporation, led by Bishop Hubbard and later, Bishop Scharfenberger, violated their fiduciary duties by failing to make necessary contributions to the pension plan.
“It’s between he and the Lord. It’s discouraging that we weren’t able to face him, or speak with him, but in my opinion, it’s all in the plan,” Hartshorne said, “and I think many of the pensioners showed exactly who they were by saying that they hope that his family gets through this.”
Hubbard’s services are scheduled for Friday, August 25.