WHEELING – Capson Physicians Insurance Company has filed a lawsuit against Dr. Roland F. Chalifoux for multiple lawsuits filed against him regarding blood-borne pathogens.
Valley Pain Management was also named as a defendant in the suit.
At all times relevant to the action, the defendants were the named insureds under Capson’s claims-made policy, with a policy period of Aug. 31, 2013, to Aug. 29, 2014, according to a complaint filed Sept. 27 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.
Capson claims the defendants made a demand for a defense under the policy in five underlying lawsuits filed against the defendants for exposure to blood-borne pathogens.
The plaintiff is currently providing a defense to the defendants in the underlying lawsuits under a complete reservation of its rights under the Capson policy, according to the suit. However, Capson denies that it has any duty to provide any defense or indemnity to any of the defendants under the Capson policy.
Capson claims is wants a declaration as to its duties and obligations, in any, to the defendants for the underlying lawsuits under the policy.
The policy does not provide coverage for claims that arise out of intentional conduct, criminal conduct or criminal or civil fraud and the allegations in the underlying lawsuits arise out of the violation of any federal or state statutory or regulatory law or in violation of the penal code or criminal statutes, according to the suit.
Capson claims it does not provide insurance for claims arising out of alleged transmission or failure to use proper precautions to prevent the transmission of fatally contagious diseases, where the insured knew or had known of infection and failed to notify the patient in advance of rendering treatment.
Capson is seeking for the court to declare that it is not required to defend or indemnify the defendants in the underlying lawsuits under the policy. It is being represented by Timothy R. Linkous and Stephanie J. Shepherd of Linkous Law.
The lawsuits filed against Chalifoux allege that patients were exposed to Hepatitis C.
Following a site inspection and investigation by the Marshall County Health Department and the regional epidemiologist, the bureau concluded that the evidence linking a single case of meningitis with respiratory flora to infection control practices at Valley Pain Management is very strong and a significant risk of blood-borne pathogen transmission cannot be excluded.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 5:17-cv-00149