EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) - State Farm claims in court that it has no duty to defend disbarred attorney L. Thomas Lakin, or his son, from a civil lawsuit involving sexual abuse of minors.
State Farm seeks a declaratory judgment against Lowell Thomas Lakin and Kristopher Lakin, in Madison County Circuit Court.
Lowell Thomas Lakin, better known as L. Thomas Lakin, pleaded no-contest to and was convicted of state charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. He also pleaded guilty to federal drug charges. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison in each court.
Kristopher Lakin is his son.
In 2006, L. Thomas Lakin's victims filed a civil complaint against him, which L. Thomas Lakin did not tender to State Farm for defense.
But when the victims, who were unnamed in the petition, filed an amended complaint this year, Lakin tendered it to State Farm for defense.
State Farm says the amended complaint claims that the Lakins and the Lakin firm "conspired 'to conceal and hide the childhood sexual abuse by tacitly or explicitly agreeing to commit overt acts to secret and spoil evidence, and otherwise intimidate plaintiffs from pursuing their lawful remedies ...'"
"The Doe Amended Complaints alleges [L. Thomas] Lakin sexually abuses John Doe, Joseph Doe, and Jane Doe, and that Kristopher sexually abused John Doe and Jane Doe," State Farm says in its complaint.
The insurer claims that L. Thomas "Lakin 'engaged in a course of harassment constituting extreme, outrageous, and intentional acts ...' toward the Does."
State Farms says the amended complaint also adds a couple of new counts.
"The first of the newly added negligence counts of the Doe Amended Complaint alleges [L. Thomas] Lakin 'allowed the minor, John Doe, to engage in sexual acts while in the defendant's care custody, and control,' and 'created an environment wherein the minor, John Doe, consumed alcohol and was sexually abused by multiple women,'" State Farm's complaint states.
"The second of the newly added negligence counts of the Doe Amended Complaint alleges [L. Thomas] Lakin 'allowed the minor Jane Doe, while in defendant's care, custody, and control to engage in the use of drugs and alcohol,' 'allowed the minor, Jane Doe, to engage in sexual acts while in the defendant's care, custody, and control,' and 'created an environment wherein the minor, Jane Doe, used alcohol and drugs and was sexually abused."
State Farm claims the Lakins' policies do not include defense in the civil lawsuit.
"The Homeowners Policies do not provide coverage to [L. Thomas] Lakin or Kristopher [Lakin] for the reason that the Doe Amended Complaint does not allege 'bodily injury' caused by an 'occurrence,'" the complaint states.
State Farm also claims that the policies contain exclusions that also deny coverage. It is represented by John P. Cunningham of Brown & James in Belleville, Ill.
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