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Joyce Meyer Sued, Insurance Co. Won't Pay

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on August 03, 2011 1:49 PM

If a new lawsuit filed in St. Louis is any indication, things aren't looking too good for televangelist Joyce Meyer.

Sued in May for the wrongful death of her former bodyguard Sheri Coleman, Meyer is now party to a federal suit filed by her insurer.

The company is asking a judge to affirm its denial of coverage, allowing it to skirt any responsibility for the payment of legal bills Meyer acquires while defending the wrongful death suit.

Essex Insurance Co. has refused to pay Meyer's legal bills as a result of policy exclusions and clauses relating to battery and bodily injury, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

In the underlying wrongful death suit, Meyer and her employees are accused of failing to inform Sheri Coleman that she and her two children were the subject of threatening e-mails and phone calls sent to the ministries' office over a six month time period.

They were later murdered by Sheri's husband, Christopher Coleman, who had sent the threats.

An attorney for Meyer's told the paper that he isn't surprised by the request, given the existence of intentional acts.

Insurance companies generally don't cover harm caused by the intentional actions of a company's employees.

While these exclusions normally apply to things like battery and assault, they can at times apply to situations like these, where an employee's negligence relates to a third party's intentional act that caused bodily harm.

It'll be interesting to see whether the judge agrees with this assessment, but in the meantime Joyce Meyer, sued by the family of Sheri Coleman and now her insurance company, looks to be racking up some hefty bills.

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