Indiana Firm Ordered to Uphold Insurance Policies for Toxic Site Cleanup

December 27, 2017

A public television station has won a court battle over insurance policies that could pay for cleaning up contamination at the site of a shuttered Evansville, Indiana, dry-cleaning business.

Judge Richard D’Amour ordered Red Ink Management LLC on Wednesday to maintain the insurance policies as a lawsuit filed by WNIN-TV moves forward regarding the cleanup of the former Pearl Cleaners site, The Evansville Courier and Press reported.

“Normally, when a business is embroiled in litigation, the last thing that business would want to do is sell, assign or liquidate insurance policies which would provide indemnification against said lawsuit,” D’Amour wrote in his ruling.

He said that the transfer of insurance policies met nearly all requirements in determining the transfer was fraudulent.

The station filed the suit in August after learning Pearl Cleaners was ceasing business and seeking to transfer assets to new owners Red Ink Management. The insurance policies could pay for an ongoing cleanup at the site and the neighboring historic property owned by the station.

Michael Schopmeyer, an attorney for the station, said the station was recently made aware that Pearl had assigned its ownership of policies to Red Ink Management in 2016.

“These policies are what allows a Rust Belt state like Indiana to be redeveloped. We don’t need taxpayers paying for this. There are probably millions of dollars of private insurance money available,” Schopmeyer said. “This keeps policies from being liquidated and funds not being used as they should be for redevelopment.”

Attorney for Pearl and Red Ink, Justin Gifford, declined to comment to the newspaper Thursday until he had the opportunity to talk with his clients.

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