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United National Insurance Co. and Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Co.

Upper Merion, PA: The Board of Supervisors agreed to accept a $55,000 settlement from the two insurance companies for a federal lawsuit involving DNA testing. United National Insurance Co. of Bala Cynwyd and Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association Insurance Co. of Whitpain had refused to pay $600,000 to the township for a $1.6 million settlement of a 2002 lawsuit against the township.

Upper Merion reached a July 2004 legal settlement with former landscaper Bruce Godschalk who had filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the township, Upper Merion Police, Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Prosecutor's office for delaying DNA testing. The 46-year-old Godschalk was convicted by a jury in 1987 of allegedly raping two women in the Kingswood apartment complex in 1986. DNA testing was not performed at the time of the conviction. He was sentenced to a 10-to-20-year sentence. Godschalk began requesting the district attorney's office test the evidence for his DNA. The district attorney's office refused. The state courts upheld that decision. But a federal court later ordered the DNA testing, which exonerated Godschalk. He was freed from state prison after serving 15 years of his sentence. Godschalk sued the authorities involved in his case and two former Upper Merion detectives. Montgomery County's insurance company reached a $750,000 out-of-court settlement with Godschalk in October 2003. (Jan-25-07) [ZWIRE: INSURANCE COVERAGE]

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Published on Feb-8-07


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