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Love family relinquishes claim on killer’s insurance policy in $30M lawsuit

George Huguely V was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2010 death of Yeardley Love. (File photo)

George Huguely V was convicted of second-degree murder in the 2010 death of Yeardley Love. (File photo)

The family of Yeardley Love no longer believe it is entitled to her killer’s family homeowners’ insurance policy in the family’s wrongful death lawsuit, but George Huguely V continues to argue the insurance company must cover him.

Sharon Love, the mother of Yeardley Love, filed a new complaint against Huguely in Virginia in December after withdrawing her original lawsuit, as permitted by state rules. Huguely was Yeardley Love’s ex-boyfriend at the University of Virginia, where they were both students. He was convicted of second-degree murder for her 2010 death.

The $30 million wrongful death lawsuit has been on hold while a federal judge in Maryland determines if homeowners’ insurance policies held by Huguely’s stepfather, a Maryland resident, required the companies to defend and indemnify Huguely.

A judge denied access to the larger of the two policies — worth $6 million — in 2017 because the policy did not cover criminal acts. However, litigation has continued over the second policy, by State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. and worth $300,000, which excludes injuries “expected or intended by the insured.”

Because the original 2013 lawsuit filed by Love’s estate alleged both intentional torts and negligence, the federal judge overseeing the insurance litigation ruled Huguely’s intoxication at the time of the incident could mean he did not intend to inflict fatal injuries.

But in a motion filed Friday, State Farm argues the new complaint contains only intentional torts, which the policy excludes.

Though Sharon Love “no longer makes a claim for coverage,” Huguely continues to believe he is entitled to a defense and indemnification under the policy, according to the motion.

State Farm filed an amended complaint for declaratory judgment on Monday, with the court’s permission, arguing that the new wrongful death lawsuit excludes coverage.

“There is no potentiality that the behavior and conduct of Huguely as described in the Civil Litigation will trigger a duty to defend or a duty to indemnify Huguely under the Homeowners Policy,” the complaint alleges.

State Farm also continues to allege that Huguely has not cooperated with its investigators as required by the policy.

“Huguely’s refusal to substantively respond, now or at any time in the reasonable future, to any of State Farm’s questions regarding the allegations made in the Civil Litigation … constitutes a material breach of terms and conditions of the Homeowners Policy to enable State Farm to determine its obligations under the Homeowners Policy,” the complaint states.

Sharon Love is represented by Paul D. Bekman and Emily C. Malarkey of Bekman, Marder & Adkins LLC in Baltimore. Huguely is represented by Peter C. Grenier of the Grenier Law Group PLLC in Washington, D.C. State Farm is represented by Anne Kelley Howard, Laura Basem Jacobs and Walter E. Gillcrist Jr. of Budow and Noble P.C. in Rockville.

Attorneys did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

The case is State Farm Fire and Casualty Company v. George W. Huguely V et al., 8:13-cv-03088.

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