Wrongfully convicted men file counterclaim

first_imgAttorneys for two men wrongly convicted of rape have filed a counterclaim in Cowlitz County Superior Court alleging that Clark County’s insurance providers colluded to pressure the county to breach a multi-million-dollar settlement with the two men.The claim also alleges the state agency that provides low-cost coverage to counties, the Washington Counties Risk Pool, along with two insurance providers — American International Group Inc. and its subsidiary, Lexington Insurance Co. — conspired to misrepresent the services the risk pool provides in order to avoid paying a share of the settlement.According to the claim, the risk pool and Lexington “concocted a scheme” to assert that the county’s third-party liability insurance program wasn’t real insurance, so the risk pool wasn’t contractually obligated to pay the settlement amount.The risk pool does not refer to itself as an insurer, describing itself as a coalition of Washington counties that, as a group, receives cheaper insurance rates by spreading liability. The claim, filed Friday, argues that because the pool re-insures or directly insures 98 percent of the $25 million in annual coverage provided by the pool’s third-party liability insurance program, it is an insurance provider.Representatives for the risk pool said they couldn’t comment on the counterclaims on advice of their lawyers.The two men at the center of the settlement dispute, Alan Northrop and Larry Davis, spent 17 years in prison after they were convicted of raping a La Center woman. With help from the Innocence Project Northwest and a judge’s order to do post-conviction DNA tests, Northrop and Davis were released in 2010 after tests showed DNA taken from the victim came from two different men.last_img read more