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Joe Chapman
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State Farm Suit to Enforce Exclusions against Sandusky

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Jerry Sandusky's homeowners' insurance company, State Farm, filed suit last week in the Middle District of Pennsylvania in federal court.

The lawsuit follows a similar one by Federal Insurance, which was the Second Miles' insurer. Where the Federal Insurance lawsuit mainly sought to avoid paying on grounds that it was against public policy to pay for the defense of child molestation charges, State Farm is relying on its exclusion against coverage for intentional acts and business pursuits.

In Lehigh Valley's Morning Call, an article appeared discussing the new suit. Scott Cooper, a trial attorney at Schmidt Kramer in Harrisburg, and also the President of Pa. Association for Justice (Pa. Trial Lawyers), was quoted to say, "You are covered under your homeowner's policy for negligent acts, which a lot of people don't realize," said Scott Cooper, an attorney with the Harrisburg law firm Schmidt Kramer. "Until the insurance company gets a judgment that this was intentional, they have to provide coverage." When asked how Sandusky might defend the case brought by State Farm, cooper said, "He's going to say there is some language in the policy that makes it so that it's not an intentional result."

If Sandusky's conduct was negligent, and the harm he brought to children was not intended, there may be coverage from the policy, but if it is found that he intentionally injured the children, than coverage may be taken away.