Company wants defense tendered

by John O'Brien |
Jun. 1, 2006, 3:40am

CHARLESTON - A Kenova company is hoping a judge will find that its insurance provider did not properly handle an accidental death lawsuit against it.

The Jim C. Hamer Co. named Nautilus Insurance Co. in a complaint for declaratory relief filed May 24 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Hamer claims Nautilus did not tender its defense to the amended complaint filed by the estate of John A. Boner, who was struck and killed while cutting timber on June 26, 1998.

Boner was an employee of Keenan Industries, the owner of a Commercial General Liability Policy that Hamer was added to one month before the accident.

Keenan, Eastern Hardwoods and Hamer were all included in the 15 defendants the lawsuit named. Eastern was Hamer's sister company and eventually became part of Hamer.

Hamer says when it tried to defend itself, Nautilus did not attach its defense. It is now seeking that the Court "enter an order declaring the obligation and duty of Nautilus Insurance Company to provide a defense and indemnification for the claims asserted against the Jim C. Hamer Company."

The complaint adds, "The contract is an insured contract by policy definition and J.C. Hamer is entitled to a defense and indemnification on grounds separate and apart from its additional insured status created by the general change endorsement."

Lynnette Simon Marshall of Schuda and Associates in Charleston is the plaintiff's attorney.

Judge Paul Zakaib has been assigned the case.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 06-C-995

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