Insurer Sues Mattress Maker Over Nursing Home Deaths

Sixteen residents of a Nashville nursing home died in a September 2003 fire. A number of lawsuits have been settled, leaving two remaining, and the nursing home’s insurer has filed suit against a mattress maker, claiming it supplied defective mattresses that produced thick black smoke, killing 15 residents and inhibiting firefighters. As the story in the Tennessean points out, the insurer’s claims in the coverage lawsuit are inconsistent with the nursing home’s defenses in the lawsuits against it. This is why the verdict in a tort lawsuit against an insured is not binding on a later coverage lawsuit, to prevent the insurer from placing its interests first and interfering in an insured’s defense.

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