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When will an insurance company stop representing a guilty defendant?

Huntington Beach, CA |

I had my neighbors arrested for threatening me and trespassing into my house. I am suing them for 250K for trespass, IIED, and nuisance. The insurance company is defending them under reservation of rights. It has been dragging on for over 6 months and they refuse to settle. Trial is in April. Recently, the judge denied def's reassignment motion and made it clear that punitive damages are in play. At what point may the insurance company exercise their exclusion rights? Their client is guilty, there are damages, and they are just racking up legal fees. Would they defend a guilty policy holder through a jury trial?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. "Would they defend a guilty policy holder through a jury trial?" -- Yes. That may very well be their legal obligation. After the trial results in a judgment, they may also be on the hook to represent the defendant in an appeal depending on the judgment. If you want a settlement, you probably need to substantially lower your expectations. I am surprised, given your stated facts, you are not facing a cross-complaint. Good luck.

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  2. Looks like your answer depends upon policy of insurance company and upon its terms. There is no way you can influence the company in this issue.

    DISCLAIMER—This answer is for informational purposes only. It doesn't constitute legal advice. This answer doesn't create attorney client relationship.


  3. The insurance company and its obligation to the Defendant should not affect you and how your case proceeds.

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