The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

May 6, 2013

New suit arises from elevator accident

By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer
Enid News & Eagle

OKLAHOMA CITY — A new lawsuit has arisen from an August 2011 accident at a Kremlin grain elevator.

Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Co., liability insurer for Zaloudek Grain Co., two weeks ago filed a complaint in U.S. District Court for Western Oklahoma seeking declaratory relief from being held responsible for payment in matters related to the Aug. 4, 2011, accident in which Tyler Zander and Bryce Gannon, both 17 at the time, fell into the floor auger of the elevator and suffered leg amputations.

PDF: Court documents HERE

The complaint was filed by Oklahoma City lawyer Gerald P. Green on behalf of Nationwide.

The 20 defendants include Zaloudek Grain Co., Robert E. Zaloudek, William M. Zaloudek, Jack Zaloudek, Gene Iven, Joan Markwell, Eddie Zaloudek and Sons Inc., Russell Zaloudek, Thomas Zaloudek, Elizabeth Zaloudek, Mary Ann Iven, Paige Guthrie, Peggy Harris, James Harris, Cherie Gannon, Bryce Gannon, Lee Zander, Rhonda Zander, Tyler Zander and CompSource Oklahoma.

Those are all the parties involved in two lawsuits filed earlier: Zaloudek Grain filed a lawsuit against CompSource Oklahoma within days of the accident, alleging breach of contract. The Gannon and Zander families filed a negligence lawsuit against Zaloudek Grain and its shareholders.

In the complaint, Green writes that Nationwide Agribusiness issued a commercial general liability policy and a commercial liability umbrella policy to Zaloudek Grain. Those policies were in effect during policy periods Nov. 26, 2010 to Nov. 26, 2011, Green writes.

“The policies, by their terms, preclude coverage concerning the Gannon and Zander actions,” Green writes.

“Nationwide Agribusiness has retained counsel for (Zaloudek Grain) in those actions under a reservation of rights, and in this action seeks a declaration as to the rights and responsibilities of the parties under the contracts of insurance,” Green writes.

Green writes that Nationwide is seeking rulings that the insurance company has no duty to pay any judgment in the negligence lawsuit and has no duty to pay the cost of defending Zaloudek Grain against the negligence lawsuit.

Lawyers representing Zaloudek Grain in the lawsuit against CompSource Oklahoma could not be reached for comment. A woman who identified herself as an assistant for James Johnson and Kerry Lewis, who represent CompSource Oklahoma, said not to call her and hung up the phone when she was asked to take a message.

Settlement discussions, as required by the court, were taking place Monday in the negligence lawsuit. Attorneys for both sides could not be reached.