Case Alert: April 2002
Last week the Appellate Division published an important decision, handled by Methfessel & Werbel, Esqs. affecting liability carriers who confront Complaints which allege both covered and uncovered claims. We had for quite sometime tried to position this issue for appellate review because this issue has not been addressed or decided by New Jersey courts, and is the subject of great debate. This case allowed us to put squarely before a court the issue of the insurance carriers dilemma when faced with complaints containing both covered and uncovered counts. The result achieved was extremely favorable for the insurance industry. Aquino v. Travelers focuses on the inherent conflict posed by retention of counsel to defend against all claims, as opposed to limited retention to defend the insured against only covered claims.
The case arose out of a shooting on March 7th 1995. Michael Aquino visited an auto body shop, in Newark where Anthony Fasion worked. During what could be characterized as “horseplay” Mr.Aquino pulled out a starter pistol loaded with blanks and discharged the pistol into Mr. Fasion’s abdomen. The “batting” from the blanks caused significant injuries to Mr. Fasion. [MORE]