Insurance company seeks immunity from McCowan murder suit

2014-02-19T12:00:00Z 2014-02-20T10:48:15Z Insurance company seeks immunity from McCowan murder suitBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
February 19, 2014 12:00 pm  • 

HAMMOND | American Family Mutual Insurance Co. has filed a federal lawsuit arguing it should not be held liable as part of a civil legal battle stemming from the 2011 murder of Portage resident Amanda Bach.

The company targets the parents of the deceased woman, her killer and his father, arguing that while it had provided a homeowner policy at the time to the family of convicted murderer Dustin McCowan, the coverage did not apply to incidents of intentional bodily injury or injury arising out of criminal behavior resulting in a conviction.

The insurance company is not named in the July lawsuit filed at the county level by the parents of Amanda Bach against Dustin McCowan and his father, Joseph Elliott McCowan.

Yet the company now is asking a federal judge to determine it has no financial or other responsibility in the civil dispute.

William and Sandra Bach are seeking an unspecified amount of money in the suit, which targets Dustin McCowan's intentional acts under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute.

The civil suit further accuses Joseph McCowan of contributing to the murder by not properly securing his firearms, one of which Dustin McCowan is believed to have used to shoot and kill 19-year-old Bach on Sept. 16, 2011.

Dustin McCowan was sentenced in March to 60 years in prison for murdering the Portage resident, who was a former girlfriend.

A jury heard evidence for nearly a month before finding him guilty of shooting Bach in the throat during the early morning hours after she showed up at the Union Township home where McCowan was living. Bach's partially clothed body was found the following day less than 300 yards from the house in a wooded area along County Road 625 West at the Canadian National Railroad tracks.

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