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Insurer wants out of civil suit against Huguely

George W. Huguely V, the former University of Virginia lacrosse player who was convicted in February 2012 of killing his former girlfriend, is being sued in Maryland federal court by his mother’s insurance company.

Chartis Property Casualty Co., a New York-based member company of American International Group Inc., filed suit in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt on Monday. It is asking the court to declare it has no duty to defend or indemnify Huguely in connection with a civil lawsuit filed by Sharon D. Love, Yeardley R. Love’s mother and a Baltimore County resident.

Despite repeated attempts to examine him under oath at the Keen Mountain Correctional Center in Oakwood, Va., where he is now incarcerated, Huguely has refused to cooperate and, through counsel, has said his position will not change, the complaint says.

“Huguely’s refusal to submit to an examination under oath and his refusal to substantially respond, now and at anytime in the future, to any of Chartis’ questions regarding the allegations made in the civil litigation, including the facts and circumstances leading up to and surrounding the alleged altercation between Huguely and … Love on May 2-3, 2010 and … Love’s death and Huguely’s residency at the time has caused and will continue to cause severe prejudice to Chartis,” the complaint said.

Chartis said Huguely’s continued refusal to cooperate with its investigators constituted “a material breach of terms and conditions” of the policies.

The insurer said its ability to investigate and evaluate Huguely’s liability, develop a defense strategy, and evaluate whether Huguely is covered under the primary and excess liability policies purchased by in 2010 by his mother and stepfather, Marta and Andrew Murphy, are all limited by Huguely’s lack of cooperation.

Residence questioned

It questioned whether Huguely is covered under the insurance policy because it is unclear whether he was a member of his mother and stepfather’s household at the time of the incident.

“Huguely’s residency at the time of the alleged altercation was in questions [sic] inasmuch as he lived in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Marta Murphy and Huguely’s father [George W. Huguely IV] maintained separate residences,” Chartis’ attorneys wrote. “He could have been a permanent resident of any of those three residences.”

A jury found Huguely guilty of second-degree murder last year. He is appealing the conviction.

In April 2012, Sharon D. Love filed suit in circuit court in Charlottesville for actual and punitive damages totaling more than $30 million. Her action alleges that negligence, gross negligence and intentional acts by Huguely contributed to Yeardley Love’s death.

Chartis originally agreed to provide Huguely and the Murphys with a defense to Sharon Love’s suit, but reserved the right not to pay benefits if Huguely’s acts were not covered by the Murphys’ policies.

According to the insurance company’s lawsuit, Huguely’s attorney, Craig S. Cooley of Richmond, Va., advised Chartis that he intended to have his client “assert his Fifth Amendment privilege in response to any and all questions relating to the events out of which his criminal charges arose.”

Cooley did not respond to a call requesting comment Tuesday.

Richard J. Berwanger Jr. and Stacey Ann Moffet of Eccleston and Wolf P.C. in Hanover represent Chartis. Neither attorney was immediately available for comment on Tuesday.

U.S. District Chief Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has been assigned to the case.