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Pretzel & Stouffer Attorneys Win in Mississippi Supreme Court

Robert Chemers and Rich Burgland obtained a major victory for their insurer client in the Mississippi Supreme Court. With the help of local counsel, Dorrance Aultman, Robert and Rich successfully defended an appeal by two claimants.

The claimants sought coverage for a wrongful death lawsuit arising out of the death of their adult son who died as a result of an allegedly defective tree stand manufactured by the insured. The Mississippi Supreme Court, applying Mississippi law, affirmed the judgment of the Jones County Circuit Court in favor of the firm’s client.

The Court found that there was no material factual dispute that an exclusion for deer/tree stands and related equipment was included in the policy and that the exclusion applied to preclude coverage for the underlying action. The Court also found that the insurer did not waive and was not estopped from asserting coverage defenses for investigating and defending the claim for eight days before issuing a declination of coverage.

July 2019