Insurer sues Scott Orthopedics, physician over coverage

By Chris Dickerson | Dec 3, 2010

WINFIELD – An insurance company that denied coverage to a Huntington physician who admitted to sexually harassing a patient is now suing Scott Orthopedics and the physician.

Victoria Carovillano, the woman who claimed she was sexually harassed by Dr. Thomas F. Scott, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

West Virginia Mutual Insurance Company claims after it denied Scott coverage, he and his counsel contended that WVMIC was incorrect and breached its contractual duties, according to a complaint filed Nov. 19 in Putnam Circuit Court.

Carovillano filed a lawsuit against Scott in Cabell Circuit Court on June 25, claiming Scott made advances on her and made her feel uncomfortable. The West Virginia Board of Medicine ordered Scott to be publicly reprimanded for his conduct and for him to attend and successfully complete a Board approved Continuing Medical Education ethics course, to which Scott agreed.

WVMIC claims it received a letter from Scott's attorney, David Lockwood, on Aug. 31, stating that the allegations "fall squarely within the Insuring Agreement and the applicability of the 'sexual contact' exclusion is disputed," and asking the insurance company to reconsider its position in regards to the denial of coverage and defend Scott. The letter also said that Lockwood and Scott had already consulted with other attorneys regarding coverage if WVMIC did not defend Scott.

WVMIC is asking for the court to enter an order declaring that Scott and Scott Orthopedic Center are not entitled to a defense, coverage or indemnity under the terms and conditions of the Medical Professional Liability Policy of Insurance. It is also asking that the court enter an order that Carovillano is not entitled to recover any sums directly or indirectly from the Medical Professional Liability Policy of Insurance issued to Scott and Scott Orthopedic Center for any of the allegations from her lawsuit. The insurance company is being represented by D.C. Offutt and W. Stephen Flesher.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge O.C. "Hobby" Spaulding.

Putnam Circuit Court case number: 10-C-388

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