Case Caption: Construction Technicians and Cleve A. George v. Zurich American Insurance Co.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2012-0125Date: 07/18/2014Author: Swan, Ive Arlington Citation: Summary:

In an insurer's action to recover $26,888 as an adjusted premium for an asbestos general liability insurance policy, along with its attorney's fees, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in deeming the insurer's requests for admissions to be admitted in accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 36 because of defendant's failure to serve a written answer or objection over an eight year period. The trial court did abuse its discretion when it struck the defendant's counterclaims as a sanction for his dilatoriness, but that error was harmless in light of the admissions under Rule 36 which made the counterclaim meritless. The trial court did not err when it referenced the insured's federal convictions for violating the Clean Air Act because Federal Rule of Evidence 609(a) allows admission of convictions that involve dishonest acts or false statements as in this case, and the defendant's admissions included the fact of the convictions. This information was admissible not only on credibility issues but also to prove breach of the insurance policy, as provided in FED. R. EVID. 803(22). Other issues mentioned by the defendant on this appeal were never developed or presented with supporting authorities and arguments as required under V.I. SUP. CT. R. 22(a)(5), and consideration of those matters is therefore foreclosed. The Superior Court's Finding of Facts and Conclusions of Law, and the Judgment entered on October 18, 2012, are affirmed.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion