Hartford Casualty Insurance Tries to Duck Crandall Canyon Lawsuits

November 18, 2008

An insurance company doesn’t want to pay for any civil damages resulting from the collapse at Crandall Canyon in Utah that killed six coal miners and some of the rescuers who tried to save them.

Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. filed a motion to be removed from lawsuits filed in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City by families of the miners and three rescuers who died in another collapse in the twin disasters in August 2007.

Hartford provided liability insurance for Grand Junction, Colo.-based Agapito Associates Inc., the engineering firm that signed off on mining plans at Crandall Canyon.

But Hartford says the policies don’t cover liability resulting from Agapito’s professional performance.

Hartford provided $5 million in catastrophic insurance, on top of $2 million in coverage from another insurer. Attorneys for the miners’ families want both insurance companies to remain liable.

All of the parties have agreed to try to settle the case by mediation., and The Salt Lake Tribune reported that a mediator planned to start proceedings on November 17, 2008.

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