Insurer Won’t Cover $8 Cab Fare Killing

     RENO, Nev. (CNS) – An insurer refuses to provide coverage for a Nevada cab company whose driver killed a passenger in a dispute over an $8 fare.
     Atain Specialty Insurance sued Reno Cab Co. dba Reno Sparks Cab and its driver Richard Warne on Aug. 11, seeking declaratory relief in Federal Court.
     Warne allegedly killed his fare, Bradley Driscoll Cheeseman, after Cheeseman refused to pay an $8 fare on Oct. 11, 2013. The killing was widely covered in Nevada, particularly in the hometown Reno-Sparks Gazette.
     The Gazette reported that neither police nor state prosecutors filed charges against the cab driver, concluding that he had acted in self-defense. Citing police reports, the Gazette said that Cheeseman threatened the driver with a knife, then walked away, pursued by the driver, who carried a Taser and contacted police by a wireless device that left both of his hands free. Cheeseman allegedly threatened the driver again and the driver cut his throat, killing him.
     The driver was not identified in early reports.
     Cheeseman’s widow and children sued Warne and Reno Cab for wrongful death and negligence in October 2013, in Washoe County Court.
     In its Aug. 11 lawsuit, Atain Insurance claims it has no duty to defend or indemnify due to an assault and battery exclusion in the policy.
     Atain seeks a declaratory judgment of its rights and liabilities.
     The Cheeseman family’s lawsuit was to be heard Friday in Washoe County Judge Janet Berry’s Court. No decision has been announced.
     In that case, Warne is represented by Roger Harada, who declined comment.
     Atain’s attorney, Pamela McKay of Las Vegas, could not be reached for comment Friday.

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