Virginia Appeals Court Strikes Down Claim Against Insurance Company

The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Virginia ruled this month that Liberty University’s insurance provider, Hanover Insurance Company, is not responsible for any costs incurred by the University as it defends itself in a high-profile case.

The Hanover Case

Back in 2000, Lisa Miller and Janet Jenkins married in the state of Vermont. Two years later, Miller gave birth to the couple’s daughter, Isabella, but the couple parted ways a year later in 2003. At that time, Miller moved to the Lynchburg, Virginia area, became invested in evangelical Christianity, renounced homosexuality, and began a case to win custody of the child from Jenkins.

Miller won the case against Jenkins and later disappeared with the child. Jenkins has since filed a case against Liberty University, alleging her former spouse and child are in Nicaragua. She says that employees at Liberty University helped Miller and the child leave the country, even naming the former Dean of the University’s School of Law as an accomplice.

The case has taken the region by storm, and an earlier decision handed down from the courts stated that Hanover Insurance Company would be financially responsible for covering the University’s legal fees as the custody dispute waged bitterly on. According to law, Miller and Jenkins were recognized as being in a legally binding civil union.

The issue that came before the court earlier this month was whether or not insurance providers should have to cover the cost of the University’s defense, and the answer from the court was a resounding “no”. Liberty University later released statements that voiced their disappointment in the court’s ruling, which found that Hanover Insurance was not responsible under the Intentional and Criminal Acts Exclusion.

Insurance Defense in California

The need often arises for insurance carriers to contest claims brought against them, for any number of reasons. Like any other party in a case, regional and national insurance providers need legal representation that can investigate claims brought against them and resolve conflicts, all while protecting the company’s interests and their clients’ bottom line.

Insurance providers may need to contest or protect themselves against any number of insureds claims, including, but not limited to:

  • Wrongful death claims
  • Slip and fall or other premises liability injuries
  • Workplace injuries or employer negligence
  • Medical malpractice claims
  • Boating accidents
  • Fraudulent claims
  • Product defects

In California, there are insurance and personal injury lawyers who specialize in defending insurers and their companies against claims brought by their insureds.

The legal team at the law firm of Arata, Swingle, & Ven Egmond is dedicated to defending clients in insurance or personal injury cases, including those involving the defense of insurance providers. Our attorneys have more than 60 years of experience defending insurers against claims presented by their insureds, and we are committed to protecting your company’s rights and interests.

We educate our colleagues and teach seminars on the nuances of insurance law, and can provide the expertise, support and know-how that you need in your defense.

We welcome your call today to discuss how our team can assist with your insurance defense. To speak with a member of our insurance defense team, we welcome your call at (209) 522-2211.