Maine High Court Rejects Insurance Payout to Assault Victim’s Estate

December 3, 2015

Maine’s highest court says the estate of a man killed in a Portland punching incident isn’t entitled to money from the puncher’s family’s insurance policy.

Eric Benson’s estate sued William Googins after Googins punched Benson in the face, causing Benson to fall, hit his head on the bricks of Monument Square and die. Googins pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and served about two years of a 10-year prison sentence for the 2010 incident.

Googins consented to a judgment of $400,000 to Benson’s estate. The estate also sought money from Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company, which had issued a homeowner’s policy to Googins’ grandmother that was active at the time of the incident.

The Maine Supreme Judicial Court says a lower court was right to rule in favor of Metropolitan.

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