Bob Arnold and Ryan Rodman of WWM recently won an appeal in West Virginia that involved novel insurance coverage issues in a compelling factual context. The case arose out of the tragic death of Charleston WV police officer Jerry Jones, who was killed by a ricocheting bullet fired by another officer during a police pursuit.
In March 2011, Officer Jones’ Estate brought a declaratory judgment action in Kanawha County, West Virginia, seeking underinsured motorists (“UIM”) benefits from WWM’s client, an insurer of the City of Charleston. The declaratory judgment alleged that Patrolman Jones was killed in the early morning hours of September 13, 2009, at the conclusion of a car chase. Patrolman Jones and other officers had successfully surrounded an automobile driven by criminal suspect Brian Good. When Mr. Good was instructed to exit his car he revved his engine as if threatening to advance toward the police cruisers. After ordering Mr. Good to stop, several officers opened fire. Patrolman Jones was struck by a stray bullet and died as a result of his injuries. Continue reading