By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Last month, homeowners of Lamplight Village at Centennial Springs, Las Vegas, Nevada, were shocked by news of a $20 million verdict against their homeowners’ association.
Readers may recall a jury made the award in favor of Carl Thompson, who was only 15 years old when he was injured by the collapse of a swing set on HOA property, resulting in life-altering traumatic brain injury.
The HOA was only insured for $2 million, and for several weeks, residents were concerned they might have to lose their homes to foreclosure, just to pay their share of the verdict.
By the end of March, Lamplight Village HOA had retained independent counsel, Michael McKelleb, who worked out a deal with Thompson’s attorneys, Sean Claggett and Al Lasso. Thompson agreed not to file liens on HOA properties, and, in return, the HOA agreed to sue their insurance provider, assigning any payments recovered to Thompson.
Last week, McKelleb was interviewed by Fox5 News, where he explained that the HOA board had wanted to accept a pre-trial settlement, but the insurance company for the HOA retained the authority to make that decision, declining Claggett’s and Lasso’s offer.
Notably, the insurance company has made no statement to media with regard to McKelleb’s claims, and the pending lawsuit against the company.
Valley HOA will not pay $20 million to victim of collapsed swing set
Posted: Apr 10, 2018 11:31 PM EDTUpdated: Apr 10, 2018 11:48 PM EDTA jury reached a $20 million verdict after a teenager suffered severe brain injuries from a swing set collapsing on his head at Lamplight Village in northwest Las Vegas. (FOX5)
In previous reports, Lamplight Village’s insurance company was identified as Community Association Underwriters (CAU), but the most recent report names QBE Insurance.
To clear up the confusion as to the insurer(s) involved in this case, I did a bit of internet research.
In 2015, two years after Thompson was injured in Lamplight Village, QBE North American sold its US division insurance agencies — including CAU, Deep South, and SIU Managers — to Alliant Insurance Services. QBE has retained its underwriting business with all three agencies.
CAU did provide insurance to Lamplight Village, and, at the time of the accident, QBE owned CAU.
CAU is a specialty insurance company serving association-governed communities. The company works closely with industry trade group, Community Associations Institute (CAI) to market its insurance products.