BENTON — Joyce Meyer Ministries Inc. of Fenton, Mo., is suing a licensed insurer, alleging the defendant failed to defend or indemnify the plaintiff in a wrongful death lawsuit after its former security officer murdered his family.
Joyce Meyer Ministries filed a complaint Dec. 6 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, alleging wrongful denial of coverage.
According to the complaint, Joyce Meyer Ministries claims National Union Fire Insurance failed to satisfy its contractual obligations to defend and indemnify JMM in a wrongful death lawsuit.
According to the wrongful death suit, Christopher Coleman was a security employee with JMM when he was convicted of murdering his wife Sheri Coleman and minor children Garett Coleman and Gavin Coleman on May 5, 2009. He is serving a life sentence for his crimes.
During the wrongful death trial, evidence showed that Coleman was having an extramarital affair and wanted to be rid of his family. He allegedly premediated the murders and attempted to make them appear to be carried out by a person angry at Joyce Meyer by sending death threats to himself, his family and Joyce Meyer from, which were sent from Coleman’s laptop computer.
In JMM's suit against National Union Fire, the plaintiff claims it has not been able to effectuate a settlement and has been forced to defend itself at its own expense and without reimbursement.
Joyce Meyer Ministries seeks a trial by jury, an order declaring that the policy provides coverage to the plaintiff for the claims asserted and that the defendant has a duty to indemnify JMM for any damages, plus attorney fees, court costs and expenses and all other just and proper relief.
JMM is represented by attorneys Michael James King of Winters & King Inc. in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and by Dennis M. Field of Strellis & Field Chartered in Waterloo.
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois Case number 3:18-cv-02151-SMY-SCW