Insurance company wants out of policyholders' lawsuit

Kelly Holleran Feb. 14, 2011, 6:49am

An insurance company wants the court to protect it from defending policyholders who are facing a lawsuit after a collision.

American Service Insurance Co. filed a petition for declaratory judgment against Herman Berry, Nakia Berry Mazeil, Angela N. Antoine and Erica Nicole Antoine.

American claims it issued an automobile insurance policy to Herman Berry. Specifically in the policy, American states that it will not cover driver Nakia Berry Mazeil if he ever became involved in a collision while driving Berry's 1993 Dodge Dakota, according to the petition.

On Feb. 22, 2008, Mazeil was involved in a collision with the Dakota after he allegedly failed to stop at a red light and slammed into the Antoines' 2003 Chevrolet Tahoe, the petition states.

Following the accident, the Antoines filed suit against Mazeil and Berry, the petition says. However, American claims it is under no obligation to defend Mazeil and Berry because of the driver exclusion provision in Berry's policy.

In addition to its request that the court declare it free of defending Berry and Mazeil, American seeks costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

James R. Scott of Sheiness, Scott, Grossman and Cohn in Houston will be representing it.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. A189-319

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