Chesterton Tribune



Elliott McCowan files for Chapter 13 bankruptcy

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Elliott McCowan, father of Dustin McCowan, Amanda Bach’s convicted murderer, has filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in federal court.

Chapter 13 allows a person with a regular income to “adjust” debts, according to the federal court system’s website.

Elliott McCowan filed for Chapter 13 on April 11.

In that filing McCowan lists total assets of $103,750, consisting of his house in Hobart, his 2011 Ford Mustang, furniture, and cash on hand. He lists total debts of $15,162, $10,000 of that amount his car loan.

In addition, he lists two parties holding “unsecured nonpriority claims” for unknown amounts: Sandra and William Bach, Amanda’s parents, who have named McCowan in a wrongful death suit; and American Family Mutual Insurance, McCowan’s homeowner’s insurance company, which has also sued McCowan, on the grounds that it has no obligation to cover either McCowan or his son for any claims which might arise from the Bach’s wrongful death suit.

Dustin McCowan was convicted on Feb. 26, 2013, of Amanda Bach’s murder and is serving a 60-year sentence in the Pendleton Correction Facility in Madison County.

The Bachs’ two-count suit states that, under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute, Amanda’s parents are “entitled to recover for the loss of love, affection, and companionship, attorney fees, costs of this action, burial, and funeral bills.” The suit also alleges that Dustin McCowan used his father’s Smith & Wesson .38 caliber Airlite revolver--still missing, never found by investigators--to kill Amanda and that Elliott McCowan had a “duty to properly secure his firearms when he was not home.”

The suit concludes that a “direct and proximate cause of Amanda Bach’s death and fatal shooting” was Elliott McCowan’s “carelessness and negligence.”

American Family Mutual Insurance, meanwhile, contends in its own suit that Elliott McCowan’s homeowner’s insurance policy--which has a liability limit of $500,000 per occurrence of bodily injury--specifically does not cover incidents when the injury is caused intentionally or when it arises out of a violation of any criminal law. Also excluded from coverage, the company contends: any punitive or exemplary damages.

American Family Mutual insurance is asking a judge to declare that the policy covers neither McCowan for any claims arising from the murder; and that the company has no obligation to defend or indemnify either McCowan against any claims made in the Bachs’ suit, no obligation to compromise or settle any such claim, and no obligation to pay in any part any judgment rendered against either or both.



Posted 4/25/2014




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