Insurance info sought in Thirsty’s lawsuitJudger orders Watkins to divulge any coverage he had at time of attack.
By: Chris Mueller, The Daily Republic
A judge has ordered the man serving time prison for an assault outside a Mitchell last September to reveal whether he had insurance at the time of the attack. William Watkins, 35, was sued in July in connection with his attack on Clint Dreyer, Fargo, N.D., on Sept. 30 outside Thirsty’s.
On Monday, Federal Judge Karen E. Schreier ordered Watkins to inform the parties in the lawsuit of any liability insurance he may have had when the attack occurred. If he is unable to give specifics, Schreier ordered Watkins to disclose the name and address of any insurance agent or company who insured him. Watkins must disclose the information by Oct. 2, the order says.
Dreyer’s mother and conservator, Vicki Hubner, filed the lawsuit in December against V.V. Inc., the company that owns Thirsty’s. Hubner claims V.V. Inc. was negligent and is liable to pay damages for the assault.
V.V. Inc. denies the claim and filed a third-party complaint in June claiming another company, TS Services, should be liable to pay any damages awarded in the case. TS Services also denies the allegations and has requested both Hubner’s and V.V. Inc.’s lawsuits be dismissed.
TS Services also filed a fourth-party complaint against Watkins claiming he should pay any damages that may be assessed, as it was his actions that could make the company liable. Court documents name Thirsty’s manager Thomas Somerville, 38, alongside TS Services. Somerville was convicted of disorderly conduct against Dreyer for his role in an altercation inside Thirsty’s prior to the assault by Watkins.
Watkins was sentenced in February to 13 years in prison with five years suspended on one count of aggravated assault and was ordered to pay more than $650,000 in restitution for medical bills and other expenses. Dreyer suffered permanent brain injuries as a result of the beating.
Watkins applied for a court-appointed attorney in August, but an insurer may be required to defend him or cover any judgment if Watkins does indeed have liability insurance, court documents say. TS Services attorney Mark D. O’Leary, of Sioux Falls, requested Schreier’s order in a motion filed earlier this month.
The motion was made after O’Leary’s attempts to get Watkins’ insurance information outside of court failed, court documents say.
Watkins has yet to file any response to the allegations made against him in the lawsuit.