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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

Posted

"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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3 comments

Asker

Posted

Thanks Michael. Why would I face a cross-complaint? I didn't do anything wrong.

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude

Posted

I do not know your facts but I do know that complaints beget cross-complaints especially between neighbors. How about a cause of action for false arrest or allegations similar to yours? If I were representing your neighbor I certainly would explore all the facts to determine if there was a basis for a cross-complaint. Perhaps one has not been filed because your neighbor has not consulted independent counsel but simply has accepted the defense by the carrier. Good luck.

Asker

Posted

Thanks for the response Michael. Her husband was arrested for threatening me and while he was sitting in the police car in front of our house, she entered through an open back door while the police were taking my statement. She almost literally ran into the cop. She was prosecuted by the DA and I was able to get a CPO against her. Now is clear why no attorney has had her file a cross complaint against me? That would be bold. Just because we are neighbors does not mean I have given up all rights to privacy and peace. I just don't think an insurance company would be able to stay in business if they have to defend criminal acts by their policy holders.

Posted

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.

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Posted

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

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