Law office claims First Mercury Insurance breached professional liability policy terms

By Carrie Bradon | Apr 22, 2019

CHARLESTON — A law office is suing a professional liability insurance provider, alleging it breached its contract through failing to defend claims made.

Gary W. Rich and the Law Office of Gary W. Rich L.C. filed a complaint in Kanawha Circuit Court against First Mercury Insurance Co.

The suit states the plaintiff had a Lawyers Professional Liability Insurance Policy with the defendant and that the plaintiff paid the defendant to ensure that the policy was kept in effect. Plaintiff claims the policy stated the defendant was to defend any claim for damages, even if the claim was "groundless, false or fraudulent." The plaintiff filed claims in which the plaintiff was accused of wrongful acts during the policy coverage period of Dec. 1, 1999 through Dec. 1, 2010. The defendant has, however, allegedly failed to provide the defense guaranteed to the plaintiff.

The defendant is accused of breach of contract.

The plaintiff is seeking all reasonable sums due, attorney fees and court costs. The plaintiff is represented by John Polak of Atkinson & Polak PLLC in Charleston.

The case has been assigned to Judge Carrie Webster.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number 19-C-234

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