Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company is in deep trouble again – this time for lying to their insurance company. Now their insurance company, Colony Insurance Co., doesn’t owe Evanger’s a defense against allegations its product contained a drug that is used to euthanize animals because the owner of Evanger’s made false statements – essentially lied – when applying for the insurance policy.
The lawsuit accuses Evanger’s vice president, Joel Sher, of lying on an insurance policy that he had never been indicted for or convicted of certain crimes. Therefore, the insurance company is not obligated to pay for any damages resulting from lawsuits against Evanger’s.
According to the suit, Mr. Sher denied ever having been indicted for or convicted of fraud or bribery. When he applied for coverage to Colony, he answered “no” to the following questions on the insurance company application:
“During the last five years (ten in R.I.) has any applicant been indicted for or convicted of any degree of the crime of fraud, bribery, arson or any other arson-related crime in connection with this or any other property?”
Apparently, it slipped Mr. Sher’s mind that he was charged with Class 1 felony theft and money laundering. Perhaps Mr. Sher was hoping they would never find out about his criminal record in which both he and his wife Holly Sher were both charged with felony theft and money laundering in a scheme that involved illegally diverting over $2 million worth of utilities to their company. Or maybe he thought they wouldn’t discover the criminal charges against him, including subornation of perjury, bribery and communicating with a witness, in an attempt to avert the course of justice by attempting to bribe a witness in his trial. Who knows what he was thinking.
What we do know is because of Mr. Sher’s inability to be forthcoming about his criminal past, his insurance company is no longer responsible because the “representations made by Mr. Sher, as reflected in its answers to the questions, were false and were made with intent to deceive the insurance company.” Colony is saying it would not have issued the policies had it known the truth of the representations made by Evanger’s.
What this case essentially boils down to is this: Because Mr. Sher lied to his insurance company, the insurance company is no longer duty bound to defend Evanger’s against any lawsuit seeking damages. They are under no obligation to defend or indemnify Evanger’s, Nutripack (a subsidiary of Evanger’s) against the Party Animal Lawsuit, the Black Lawsuit or the Mael Lawsuit under the Evanger’s – now-defunct – insurance policy.
What does this mean for the Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company and the people who are suing Evanger’s? I suspect that unless the Sher’s have millions sitting in a bank somewhere gathering dust that the Sher’s will probably be making an appearance in a bankruptcy court in the not too distant future. Who can say for certain, but it appears that once more that Mr. Sher’s incapacity for honesty and the consequences of his failure to behave as a responsible member of society has come back to bite him in the a** – again.
To find out more about Evanger’s (where I’ve written roughly twenty articles about Evanger’s), please visit here.
A mugshot of Mr. Sher, vice president of Evanger’s Dog and Cat Food Company, Inc., taken when he was booked in Cook County, IL jail on 2/09/2013 for jury tampering.