Insurer Says It’s Fed Up|With Aaron Hernandez

     BOSTON (CN) – Aaron Hernandez is on his own when it comes to fighting claims that he shot someone after partying at a Florida strip club, a beleaguered insurer for the imprisoned former football star claims in court.
     The Feb. 13, 2013, shooting at issue is unrelated to the June 17, 2013, murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez, a former tight end for the New England Patriots, received a life sentence last month for Lloyd’s death, and he faces separate murder charges in Suffolk County over a 2012 shooting in Boston’s South End.
     In addition to these criminal charges, Hernandez also faces a series of civil complaints related to these and other incidents.
     Alexander Bradley filed one such case against Hernandez in Miami – right around the time prosecutors were preparing to charge Hernandez with Lloyd’s murder.
     In the latest case against Hernandez, filed last week in Suffolk County Superior Court, Lexington Insurance wants a judge to clear it from having to defend Hernandez against that Florida suit.
     Bradley accuses the athlete of shooting him in the face when they were in a car leaving a Miami Gardens strip club called Tootsie’s Cabaret, a claim Lexington says it learned about only after receiving a letter from Bradley’s attorney, Andrew Waks.
     Lexington says it was initially on board to defend Hernandez, provided that Hernandez cooperated with the insurer’s investigation.
     Though Lexington allegedly conveyed that information in a series of letters to Hernandez’s attorney, Stephen Gillman, asking for a chance to interview Hernandez, Gilman never responded to the letters, according to the May 4 complaint.
     Lexington says it finally spoke to Gillman on the phone on June 30, at which time it reiterated its position about Hernandez’s cooperation.
     The insurer was adamant, according to the complaint, that any Fifth Amendment right Hernandez sought to assert was not a ground for refusal to cooperate in Lexington’s investigation.
     Gillman nevertheless mischaracterized the discussion in a July 14 letter to Lexington that sought to have the insurer sign a common interest agreement, the insurer claims.
     Lexington disputes that it ever agreed that Hernandez’s obligations to cooperate “could be satisfied by communications between Mr. Gillman and Lexington’s counsel.”
     An Aug. 18 letter from the insurer spawned “a series of phone calls and emails,” but at every turn counsel for Lexington emphasized that Hernandez was not entitled to insurance coverage, including a defense, without assisting in that defense and complying with his duties under the homeowners’ policy, according to the complaint.
     To date, Hernandez has not fulfilled such duties, and Lexington says it has no duty to defend.
     In any case, Hernandez’s policy covers bodily injuries only if they are a result of an accident, and that is not the case here, according to the complaint.
     “Bradley alleges Hernandez deliberately and intentionally shot him,” and that he sustained “bodily injuries as a result of Hernandez’s pointing a gun at Bradley and then shooting the gun,” Lexington says.
     “The homeowners’ policy does not cover ‘bodily injuries’ which are the reasonably expected or intended result of the insured’s actions,” the complaint continues.
     Lexington notes that Bradley, whom its complaint also names as a defendant, is currently incarcerated in Connecticut. The Associated Press reported last year that he was being held on $1 million bond on charges that he opened fire outside a Connecticut nightclub after someone shot him in the leg.
     Bradley’s attorney, David Jaroslawicz, did not appear worried about Lexington’s suit.
     “The insurance company will disclaim whenever they can,” Jaroslawicz said in an interview. “Why they waited a year and a half, I don’t know. They obviously knew there were criminal charges pending against Hernandez. To me it appears to be some sort of gamesmanship.”

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