KACo to help county in AAR lawsuit
By Greg Bird
The McCreary County Fiscal Court’s insurance carrier, KACo, will join the legal fight over road blockages by the Association of American Railroads (AAR) if the court case moves forward.
Judge Stephens stated this week that was notified by a representative of the County’s insurance provider that they will be providing assistance in the defense of the lawsuit if the case continues beyond the first hearing.
The Pulaski County Fiscal Court does not obtain their insurance through KACo, rather through OneBeacon Insurance Group. That organization has declined to cover the legal battle, prompting the Pulaski Fiscal Court to seek coverage from Lexington-based attorney Mark Wohlander.
The McCreary County Fiscal Court voted to share the services of the attorney through the first filing and court date, agreeing to pay half of the hourly rate.
Wohlander filed a motion to dismiss the sheriff’s and county attorneys from both counties from the lawsuit last week. If that motion is denied, and the legal battle continues, it is expected for KACo to represent Sheriff Randy Waters and County Attorney Conley Chaney in the future.
The case, to be heard in U.S. District Court in London, was brought against Waters and Chaney, along with their Pulaski County counterparts Greg Speck and Martin Hatfield by the Association of American Railroads.
The suit also named Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear as a co-defendant, but he reached an agreement with the plaintiff to be dropped from the suit. Beshear also declined to represent the county officials in the case moving forward.
AAR is seeking a federal judge to declare Kentucky statutes concerning road blockages by railroad companies void due to the fact they are in violation of interstate commerce laws.
Wohlander’s motion to dismiss states the legal action cannot be held in federal court since the issues described in the suit have yet to be decided in McCreary and Pulaski courts.
No hearing date on the motion has been set as of press time.