A $1.1 million court judgment in favor of Vinton Construction Co. and Streu Construction Co. was wiped out by a Wisconsin Court of Appeals decision (PDF) on Wednesday.
The case dates to a lawsuit James Cape & Sons Co., a now-defunct Racine road builder, filed against Vinton and Streu in 2006 after executives from Vinton and Streu pleaded guilty to rigging bids on state highway projects. A Racine County Circuit Court judge ruled that Vinton’s and Streu’s insurance companies were obligated to defend the company executives charged in the lawsuit.
The insurers refused to get involved in the court case, so the circuit court in October 2008 ordered the insurance companies to pay Vinton $893,300 and Streu $256,600.
Wednesday’s appeals court (PDF) decision reverses that ruling and wipes out the damages owed by the insurance companies.
The three insurance companies are Zurich American Insurance Co., Valiant Insurance Co. and Northern Insurance Co. of New York. The appeals court decision said the insurers are not obligated to get involved because their coverage does not include criminal acts such as those involved in the Cape lawsuit.