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MK ATTORNEYS SUCCESSFULLY DEFEND COVERAGE DENIAL ALL THE WAY TO N.C. SUPREME COURT

Partners Elizabeth Martineau and Joe Fulton recently achieved a significant victory for a liability insurer facing a potential $4,000,000 exposure in a wrongful death case.  The insurer provided auto, homeowners, and personal umbrella coverage to a couple whose son tragically caused the death of a young Marine in an unusual single vehicle auto collision.  The son got into a fight at a fraternity house and fled to his vehicle.  The victim gave chase and ended up on the hood of the car.  The son sped away, ran off the road, and collided with a tree.  He was intoxicated at the time and, facing a criminal charge of second-degree murder, ultimately pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

The victim’s estate filed claims against the son for negligence and gross negligence and claims against his father for negligent entrustment and vicarious family purpose liability.  The insurer filed a declaratory judgment action and obtained a ruling from the trial court that it had no obligation to defend or indemnify the defendants, except to the extent of statutory minimum limits.  The victim’s estate was the only party that appealed.

Elizabeth and Joe argued that the appeal must be dismissed on grounds that the victim’s estate did not have standing to appeal and was not a party aggrieved by the trial court’s judgment.  The appeal was fully briefed by the beginning of February of 2019 and in April, the N.C. Court of Appeals granted the motion to dismiss without a written opinion. The victim’s estate appealed further by filing a petition for writ of certiorari to the N.C. Supreme Court.  After an anxious six-month wait, the Supreme Court denied the petition, ending just over three years of litigation with a win for the insurer.

 


ELIZABETH MARTINEAU SELECTED AS NORTH CAROLINA CONSTRUCTION LAWYER FOR 2020

Elizabeth A. Martineau


ELIZABETH MARTINEAU TO BE HONORED AT THE SOUTH CAROLINA LEADERSHIP IN LAW TWELFTH ANNUAL EVENT


CONGRATULATES TO ELIZABETH MARTINEAU, JOSEPH FULTON, AND LEE THOMAS FOR THEIR SELECTION INTO 2020 SUPER LAWYERS AND RISING STARTS LISTS

 


MARTINEAU KING WELCOMES TWO NEW ASSOCIATES

10 December 2019

Martineau King is excited to welcome two new associate attorneys to the firm.

David Mohrmann joined us in September of 2019. David studied abroad his second year of law school in London and got in-depth training on the UK legal system, resulting in a Certificate in International Law. During law school, David interned with the City Attorney’s Office, the Mayor’s Office, and several local law firms in New Orleans. During and immediately following law school, David worked on the Multi-District Litigation of Deepwater Horizon, the largest accidental marine oil spill in history. David has extensive knowledge in the Real Estate industry after most recently working for a developer in New Orleans for several years. While awaiting bar results, David interned with the Raleigh office of Senator Thom Tillis.

David is a classic New Orleanian having gone to high school, college and law school in the city, but now loves calling North Carolina home. David loves the excitement of Charlotte, but refuses to cheer for the Panthers. In his spare time, David can be found on his SUP, hiking up a mountain, trying to keep a golf ball in the short grass, and cooking.

Natasha Durkee joined in October of 2019. Natasha has always known she wanted to be a lawyer. She fast-tracked her way through her education. Natasha was accepted and attended Miami-Dade’s School of Advanced Studies, a dual degree program enabling her graduate with a high school diploma and associates degree. She then completed her bachelors at the University of Florida in just two years, earning membership in the Pre-Legal Honor Society and participating in mock-trial. Natasha then followed in her father’s footsteps and finished law school at the University of Miami. During law school, she was a stand-out member of the mock trial team and spent time gaining experience in her father’s firm. After her graduation, she spent a year practicing professional liability at a boutique defense firm in Sunrise, Florida before moving to Charlotte.

Growing up in a bilingual household, Natasha is fluent in English and Spanish. She is also conversational in Italian. In her spare time, Natasha enjoys exploring the outdoors and spending time with friends.

For more information about David and Natasha, please see their bios on Our Attorney’s page.


MK Attorneys Successfully Defend Coverage Denial All the Way to N.C. Supreme Court

10 December 2019

Partners Elizabeth Martineau and Joe Fulton recently achieved a significant victory for a liability insurer facing a potential $4,000,000 exposure in a wrongful death case.  The insurer provided auto, homeowners, and personal umbrella coverage to a couple whose son tragically caused the death of a young Marine in an unusual single vehicle auto collision.  The son got into a fight at a fraternity house and fled to his vehicle.  The victim gave chase and ended up on the hood of the car.  The son sped away, ran off the road, and collided with a tree.  He was intoxicated at the time and, facing a criminal charge of second-degree murder, ultimately pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

The victim’s estate filed claims against the son for negligence and gross negligence and claims against his father for negligent entrustment and vicarious family purpose liability.  The insurer filed a declaratory judgment action and obtained a ruling from the trial court that it had no obligation to defend or indemnify the defendants, except to the extent of statutory minimum limits.  The victim’s estate was the only party that appealed.

Elizabeth and Joe argued that the appeal must be dismissed on grounds that the victim’s estate did not have standing to appeal and was not a party aggrieved by the trial court’s judgment.  The appeal was fully briefed by the beginning of February of 2019 and in April, the N.C. Court of Appeals granted the motion to dismiss without a written opinion. The victim’s estate appealed further by filing a petition for writ of certiorari to the N.C. Supreme Court.  After an anxious six month wait, the Supreme Court denied the petition, ending just over three years of litigation with a win for the insurer.

More information about the case can be found here (file no. 18-1092) from the N.C. Court of Appeals and here (file no. 175P19) from the N.C. Supreme Court.

About the Attorneys

Elizabeth Martineau is the founding partner of Martineau King PLLC and has over twenty years of experience representing insurance companies in coverage disputes.  For more information about Elizabeth, please visit her attorney bio page here.

Joe Fulton is a partner with Martineau King PLLC and focuses the majority of his practice on representing insurance companies in coverage disputes.  For more information about Joe, please visit his attorney bio page here.

Important Disclaimer:  The case mentioned above is illustrative of matters handled by MK Law. Case results depend upon a variety of factors unique to each case.  Not all results in cases handled by MK Law are provided.  Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.


FULTON ACCEPTED TO SOUTH CAROLINA BAR


Partner Joe Fulton was recently accepted for membership in the South Carolina Bar. He was sworn in on November 19th.  Joe was originally admitted in North Carolina in 2012 and practices in the areas of insurance coverage, insurance defense, and creditor’s rights. For more information about Joe, please see his attorney bio.


Elizabeth Martineau to be honored at the 2019 NC and SC Lawyers Weekly Diversity and Inclusion Awards

 

 

 


Martineau Delivers at Conference

Partner Elizabeth Martineau recently served on a three person panel in Pittsburgh for the annual commercial claims and litigation conference hosted by Erie Insurance. For more information on Elizabeth and her practice areas, please see her attorney page.

 

 


Fuller Accepted to South Carolina Bar

Associate Attorney Steve Fuller was recently accepted for membership in the South Carolina Bar. He was sworn in on October 2nd.  Steve is also admitted in Massachusetts and North Carolina. Steve’s South Carolina admission will help Martineau King fulfill its mission to serve our clients’ needs across the Carolinas.

 


MK Attends NAMWOLF Annual Conference

Associate Attorney Sharon Suh recently returned from a trip out to California for the  annual conference of the National Association of Minority and Women Owned Law Firms. Martineau King is a proud member of NAMWOLF.


MARTINEAU KING WELCOMES MEAGAN ALLEN

Martineau King is excited to welcome Meagan Allen to the team as an associate attorney. Meagan joined us in August of 2019 after completing a clerkship in South Carolina with the Honorable Steven H. John, the Chief Administrative Judge of General Sessions and Resident Judge of the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit.  During her time with Judge John she experienced a number of high-profile criminal and civil trials and worked with attorneys from all over South Carolina.  At MK, Meagan’s practice focuses primarily on insurance defense, employment law, and commercial litigation.

Meagan is from a small town in South Carolina with a population of approximately 600 people.  However, she enjoys the change of pace that Charlotte has to offer and likes attending local concerts and sporting events.  Despite attending the University of South Carolina School of Law, Meagan is a dedicated fan of the Clemson Tigers and is looking forward to watching them win another national championship this year.

In her spare time, Meagan enjoys hiking, photography, and writing music.  She was previously in a bluegrass band and plays a number of instruments.  Meagan also enjoys spending time with her friends, family, and her only child – a miniature poodle named Lucy.

Meagan enjoys the challenges and fast pace of civil litigation and has quickly integrated herself into MK’s supportive and collaborative atmosphere.


 

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