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4CA decides workplace assault coverage, gold mine cases

In other Virginia cases decided this week by the 4th Circuit in unpublished opinions:

In a case arising from a fatal workplace assault at a Harrisonburg home medical services company, the 4th Circuit, in Admiral Ins. Co. v. Ace American Ins. Co., upheld a federal district court decision that a CGL carrier who participated in a $3.6 million “global settlement” of the underlying wrongful death suits was entitled to indemnification from an excess carrier.

And the appellate court marked a “milestone” Jan. 20 when it addressed “for the first time in recorded history, an appeal involving a gold mining claim under the Mining Act of 1872.” Geoffrey and Charlotte Garcia hoped to strike it rich on their “Last Chance” mine on a 24-acre plot in Oregon. In Garcia v. U.S. Interior Board of Land Appeals, the panel vacated a district court decision that upheld an administrative denial of the gold-mining Garcias’ claim staked in 1985.

The panel agreed with the Garcias that where precious metals are concerned, a claimant only has to show that a “prudent person” would spend labor and capital to mine the claim at issue. Maybe the panel recognized the current economic climate favors betting on gold.
By Deborah Elkins

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