Insurance firm pays $250K settlement in Rea case

 

Sentinel file photo

The $250,000 settlement ordered paid to the City and Borough of Wrangell by Noel Rea in a recently settled civil case was actually paid by Chubb Insurance, the carrier for the city.

The City and Borough of Wrangell has received a payment of $250,000 in the settlement with former Wrangell Medical Center DEO Noel Rea – except Rea didn’t make the payment.

The payment, in fact, came from the insurance company that indemnifies WMC and its officers, the Chubb Group Insurance.

Borough Manager Tim Rooney said the checks, which were drafted in March, were received by city attorney Bob Blasco and forwarded to City Hall.

“The money was deposited and now, any money that we spent on legal fees will be reimbursed to the city’s general fund,” Rooney said. “The balance will then be given to the Wrangell Medical Center.”

Rooney estimates just under $100,000 was spent by the city in pursuing the case against Rea and the other defendants. Records indicate that WMC attorneys were paid nearly $250,000 for their work – prior to the recall election of June 2012.

According to Borough Finance Manager Jeff Jabusch, the checks were deposited into the city’s bank account on May 7.

“We rang them through our till on May 6 and deposited them the next day,” Jabusch said.

When contacted, Chubb would not affirm whether they would seek compensation from Rea for the $250,000 payment.

“Since this is now an on-going legal matter from our end, we probably won’t have any comment,” said Chubb media representative Jodi Dorman.

Superior Court Judge William B. Carey dismissed the lawsuit on April 29 against Rea and six former members of the WMC Board of Directors that were recalled last year, along with a counterclaim they brought as a group against the city.

Judge Carey’s decision codifies a settlement reached by the parties that calls for Rea to return an iPad, which was in his possession as of the date the agreement was signed, a return of $250,000 to the city, and the signing of another agreement to “not make any disparaging statements, whether oral or written to any persons of or about any other party, relating to any events that were at issue” during the case.

Rea did not return phone call requests for a statement on this story.

 

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