Split decision: Huguely insurance battle resolved

A judge ruled last week that Chartis Property Casualty Company does not have to cover convicted murderer George Huguely in a wrongful death lawsuit against him. Huguely’s mother, Marta Murphy (above), and stepfather are insured for $6 million with that company.  Staff photo A judge ruled last week that Chartis Property Casualty Company does not have to cover convicted murderer George Huguely in a wrongful death lawsuit against him. Huguely’s mother, Marta Murphy (above), and stepfather are insured for $6 million with that company. Staff photo

Last week a federal judge in Maryland ruled that Chartis Property Casualty Company does not have to cover convicted murderer George Huguely in a wrongful death lawsuit against him in Charlottesville. His mother and stepfather, Marta and Andrew Murphy, are insured for $6 million with that company.

In 2010, the UVA lacrosse player had a fight with Yeardley Love, a fourth-year, that left her dead.

“[Huguely], who had dated Yeardley Love ‘on and off’ for years, had been drinking alcohol heavily on May 2 and went to her house late that night,” reads the opinion filed by Judge Deborah Chasanow. “He admitted to police that he kicked a hole in her bedroom door to gain access to her room, had a physical altercation with her during an argument and left her bleeding on her bed.”

Coverage from his parents’ insurance agencies, Chartis and State Farm, has been contingent on whether Love’s death was intentional. Huguely has maintained he didn’t mean to kill her.

Though Sharon Love is suing Huguely in Charlottesville for purposely killing her daughter, she had filed a brief in the insurance battle that said it was an accident. She is seeking nearly $30 million in compensatory damages and an additional $1 million in punitive damages.

Because both insurance policies define intent differently, and Chartis’ policy explicitly says any criminal act negates coverage, it was let off the hook while State Farm is still expected to cover the convicted murderer for $300,000.

Huguely’s civil suit in Charlottesville is on track for July 2018, according to his attorney, Matt Green.