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Posted June 26. 2014 12:18PM

Ex-VP sues former company's insurer to defend him from company's lawsuit

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Some years ago, Appellant Mark Hansen served as a vice president of Wilcox Industries Corp. ("Wilcox") before striking out on his own and founding his own company, Advanced Life Support Technologies, Inc. ("ALST"). Although his departure may have been amicable at first, it did not remain so for long. Wilcox sued Hansen in the New Hampshire district court for, allegedly, poaching its customers and spreading false, damaging information about its products. Hansen, who had not purchased liability insurance to cover his new business, found himself face-to-face with the prospect of funding his legal defense and satisfying any judgment against him out-of-pocket. Necessity being the mother of invention, Hansen hit upon an ingenious solution to his conundrum-- or so he thought. He demanded that Wilcox's insurer, appellee Sentry Insurance Company ("Sentry"), defend and indemnify him against his former employer's claims. Sentry declined, and this coverage action followed.