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Trayvon Martin Family's HOA Insurance Claim Lands in Federal Court

Source: Orland Sentinel

Posted on 07 Aug 2012 by Neilson

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HOA InsuranceRecent court filings show Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, has filed a claim for monetary damages against an insurance company for the Retreat at Twin Lakes homeowners association in her 17-year-old son's death.

The insurance claim was revealed in paperwork filed last week by Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America. In those documents, the insurer seeks clarification of its responsibilities in the teen's death and asks a federal judge to absolve Travelers of liability.

The teen, who was staying at Retreat at Twin Lakes with his father's girlfriend, was shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman Feb. 26 while returning from a local 7-Eleven store, authorities say.

About a month after the shooting, the federal filings show, Travelers issued an insurance policy to the homeowners association. "After the inception of the claims-made policy, Fulton made a claim for monetary damages ..." Travelers says "... as a result of the fatal shooting of Martin."

Travelers writes in its filing that the company "is in doubt of its rights" under the policy and "seeks a declaration of its rights and obligations with respect to the claim" made by Fulton.

The insurer has asked the court to rule that Travelers "has no duty to defend The Retreat at Twin Lakes" against Fulton's claim. The amount of Fulton's claim is not explicitly stated in the court filings, but the insurance company writes that the "amount in controversy exceeds the sum of $75,000."

Benjamin Crump, an attorney for the teen's family, said that the Martins are investigating possible claims with "all the insurance companies that might be applicable" and was seeking to determine "whatever the insurance limits were."

"It's our job, as lawyers, to make sure that we protect our client's interest," Crump said.

Meanwhile, records released by the Florida Attorney General's office show Fulton also filed a claim with the state's Bureau of Victim Compensation for emergency crime-victim assistance. The records show Fulton's claim was approved March 29.

Crump said the Martin family has not completed all the paperwork needed to get the funds, but if they do, they plan to donate the money to the foundation they created in their son's name to prevent gun violence.