CHARLESTON - Regional Transit Authority bus driver Bryan William Smith of St. Albans wanted two insurers to pay for injuries he suffered in a crash, but in order to bring his claim to court he needed to sue Kanawha County Sheriff Mike Rutherford.
Smith filed suit in the county circuit court June 9, naming Rutherford as defendant in his capacity as administrator of the estate of Amy Eileen Bailey.
She died in 2006, after she lost control of her car and struck the front of Smith's bus on a Sissonville street.
Rutherford assumed the role of administrator June 5. West Virginia sheriffs often administer estates of those without family ties.
Bailey's insurer, State Farm Mutual, paid Smith her policy limit of $100,000.
Smith's suit asked Rutherford to obtain an additional $100,000 from State Farm, under coverage for underinsured motorists in Smith's auto policy.
Smith also asked for $50,000 from the transit agency's insurer, Clarendon National, under its coverage for underinsured motorists.
Robert D. Cline Jr., Robert Campbell and Chad Duffield of Charleston represent Smith. The court assigned the suit to Circuit Judge Irene Berger.