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Insurance company pays to defend suit.

Two men who had known each other for over 40 years, Alfred Cook and Richard Barber, got into an altercation over construction equipment. Barber said that Cook simply took the equipment. "Cook said the men struck a deal that Cook would keep the equipment in place of money Barber owed him," reported Newsday.com. The feud over the equipment, which had gone on for two years, came to a head when Barber and two other men entered Cook's house uninvited and demanded money.

Cook armed himself with a shotgun, and when Barber advanced on him, Cook shot and killed Barber. The shooting happened in February 2002. Later Cook was acquitted of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges, but was then sued in a wrongful death suit. He thought that his insurance company, "now a part of The St. Paul Travelers Cos.," should pay for his defense. His insurance company thought otherwise.

On June 8, New York's Court of Appeals ruled 7-0 that the insurance company would have to pay for his defense. "Attorney Robert Roche, representing Cook, said the decision 'overturns 100 years of tradition in New York State.'" The court's ruling, however, is not cut-and-dried. Cook may still have to pay his own fees if he loses the wrongful death suit, and as of yet, it has not been determined whether or not the insurance company would have to pay damages if Cook loses the suit.
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Title Annotation:wrongful death suit against Alfred Cook
Author:Williamsen, Kurt
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jul 10, 2006
Words:236
Previous Article:Justice served with sense on the side.
Next Article:Spirit of the law.
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