The American Family
Mutual Insurance Company filed that suit on Friday. It names Elliott and
Dustin McCowan and Bach’s parents, William and Sandra.
According to the
suit, at the time of Bach’s death by gunshot wound, on or about Aug. 16,
2011, Elliott McCowan was the holder of a homeowner’s insurance policy with
a liability limit of $500,000 per occurrence of bodily injury or properly
However, the suit
argues, exclusions from liability coverage include the following:
Also excluded from
coverage: any punitive or exemplary damages.
American Family is
thus asking the court to “declare and determine” the following: that its
policy does not cover either McCowan for any claims arising out of 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.
convicted on Feb. 26, 2012, of Bach’s murder and is serving a 60-year
sentence in the Pendleton Correction Facility in Madison County.
Count I of the
Bachs’ suit notes that on or about Aug. 16, 2011, Dustin McCowan
“negligently, carelessly, recklessly, and/or intentionally shot Amanda
Bach”; that she “suffered a horrific, terrible, untimely, wrongful death”;
and that her parents, under the Indiana Child Wrongful Death statute, are
“entitled to recover for the loss of love, affection, and companionship,
attorney fees, costs of this action, burial, and funeral bills.”
Count II names
Elliott McCowan and hinges on the enduring mystery of the case: what firearm
did Dustin McCowan use to shoot Bach? and what became of that weapon?
suggested at trial that the murder weapon was Elliott McCowan’s Smith &
Wesson .38 caliber Airlite revolver, which he testified at trial he kept
under a sofa in the living room but which he reported missing shortly after
Bach’s body was discovered.
That revolver has
never been found.
and belief,” the suit alleges, Dustin McCowan “used his father’s firearms to
fatally shoot Amanda Bach.”
“were not properly secured” and “were accessible to his minor son,”
according to the suit, although 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.”
The suit does not
specify the amount sought by the Bachs.