CHARLESTON – Erie Insurance Property and Casualty Company is suing the estate of Sandra Kay Nichols after it claims questions of coverage exist.
Nichols’ daughters, Allison Elaine McGinnis and Ashlee Nicole Nichols Rosas, as well as William Jackson Stuck, Nichols’ 92-year-old father, also were named as defendants in the suit.
Stuck purchased a “Homeprotector Ultracover Policy” with Erie that was effective July 27, 2016 through July 27, 2017, according to a complaint filed June 1 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.
Nichols’ estate, McGinnis and Rosas filed a civil action against Stuck in Kanawha Circuit Court and alleging that Stuck shot and killed Nichols without any provocation or justification, according to the suit.
Erie claims Stuck reported to local police that his daughter “was a traitor” and that he shot her and she was lying in the kitchen. He also stated that he had waited on his daughter all night and then shot and killed her when she arrived.
Stuck then sought the defense of, and indemnification for, the instant litigation under his policy of insurance with Erie, according to the suit.
Erie claims questions of coverage exist as to whether the Stuck litigation alleges an intentional act excluded from coverage under the policy.
McGinnis and Rosas’ lawsuit alleged loss of services, protection, care and assistance provided by Nichols and they were seeking reasonable funeral expenses. Stuck was ruled incompetent to stand trial in February.
Erie is seeking declaratory judgment as to whether it is required to provide coverage under the policy. It is being represented by Michelle E. Gaston and Katherine M. Mullins of Steptoe & Johnson.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia case number: 2:17-cv-03126