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On the Record

The Daily Record's law news blog

Yeardley Love’s mother seeks en banc 4th Circuit review of insurance policy denial

Yeardley Love’s mother is still fighting for access to a $6 million insurance policy to cover potential damages in her wrongful death lawsuit against George Huguely V, petitioning the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for en banc review of its decision from earlier this month.

A three-judge panel affirmed the trial judge’s ruling the clause denying coverage for criminal activity was unambiguous and covered Love’s death. Huguely was convicted of second-degree murder.

Love’s mother, Sharon Love, filed a $30 million lawsuit in Virginia in 2013 that has been on hold while Huguely litigates with the two companies providing home owners’ insurance for his stepfather, who lives in Maryland. A trial judge ruled last year that State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. may have to indemnify Huguely but Chartis Property Casualty Co., which is the more valuable policy, does not.

In petitioning for a rehearing by the full 4th Circuit, Sharon Love argues the courts misapplied Maryland contract interpretation law and Virginia criminal law by finding that Huguely’s conviction proved a criminal act, excluded from coverage in the Chartis policy, but not an intentional injury, excluded by State Farm.

Love has argued Huguely’s degree of intoxication prohibited him from forming the specific intent to kill Love.

The case is Chartis Property Casualty Company v. George W. Huguely V et al., 17-1467.

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