WHEELING – An insurance company alleges it has no duty to indemnify two Wheeling limited liability corporations in a suit because they misrepresented that land they owned was vacant on an insurance application.
Nautilus Insurance Co. filed a suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia, Wheeling Division on May 9 against GC&P Development LLC, GC&P Aggregates LLC, GACS LP, Kevin Coyne Sr., Woodsdale United, Dale Travis and Sharon Travis alleging misrepresentation in the application and other counts.
The complaint said Coyne filled out and signed a commercial insurance application on Oct. 31, 2015 to cover some vacant land near Wheeling. The policy covered land in Gregsville and Woodsdale, covering about 90 acres. Nautilus issued the policy on Oct, 30, 2015, with limits of $2 million per occurrence and $4 million aggregate.
A stipulation of the policy was that no work was to take place on the land, including no logging or forestry work and there also would be no real estate development.
On Jan. 12, a suit was filed against GC&P Development LLC, GC&P Aggregates LLC and Coyne and asked the court for a temporary restraining order (TRO), alleging there was damage to the property perpetrated by the owners.
On the following day, the court entered a TRO based upon a finding that "defendants are engaging in commercial timbering and or development of a rock quarry on their property, which is zoned for residential use only, without having first sought site review by the city of the said development,’’ the complaint said.
On Jan. 15, the defendants responded to the order, describing a series of communications with the city of Wheeling. The communications involved work performed on the property. It also was revealed that Wheeling City Solicitor Rosemary Humway Warmuth wrote to the defendants’ counsel, referencing a permit for timbering that was to expire Dec. 31.
A second amended complaint was filed that accused the property owners of engaging in commercial timbering, burning, building and maintaining access roads and excavating soil with heavy equipment. GC&P Development LLC, GC&P Aggregates LLC and Coyne also were accused of stripping the terrain at the top of the hill and operating a rock quarry and excavating limestone for commercial use.
The suit states that Coyne expressed his intentions to private residents but refused to tell city or state officials what they were up to. The complaint also states GC&P Development LLC, GC&P Aggregates LLC and Coyne ignored the laws of the city and state and engaged in deceptive and fraudulent concealment from officials.
The plaintiff seeks an order declaring that it has no duty to defend or indemnify the defendants.
Attorneys for the plaintiff are Lee Murray Hall and Sarah A. Walling of Jenkins Fenstermaker firm in Huntington.