Trayvon Martin's mother seeks money from HOA, state fund


Trayvon Martin

Court documents show Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, is asking for at least $75,000 from the company that insures the homeowners association of the gated Sanford community where her teenage son was fatally shot by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.

Martin's family attorney sent letters of intent to the insurance companies that insure the HOA of the Retreat at Twin Lakes subdivision.

Fulton has also asked for an undisclosed amount of money from a state fund set up to help crime victims with things like funeral expenses and counseling, according to state documents.

Court documents filed last week by the gated community's insurance company show that Fulton filed a claim related to her son's death.

The policy has a $1 million limit on payouts.

The Martin's haven't filed a lawsuit yet. But the insurance company for the HOA knows it is coming.

In a five-page request filed by Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, the company asked a judge to relieve the insurer of its duty to defend against the claim.

Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America claims they didn't issue the policy to the HOA until March 30, more than a month after Martin was killed.

The company claims it is not liable for damages related to Trayvon Martin's death.

"The Martins have a case against the HOA. They (the HOA) may not have a case against the insurance company," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer.

The insurance company cites an exemption in the policy that states the insurer "'shall not be liable to make any payment' arising from "bodily injury, sickness, mental anguish, emotional distress, disease or death of any person, provided that this exclusion shall not apply' to allegations 'made as part of a Claim for Wrongful Employment Practices.'"

"If the insurance company isn't liable [to defend the HOA], then who is?" WFTV's Daralene Jones asked.

"If the insurance company is found not to be liable [to defend the HOA], then it's going to be the homeowners association and possibly the board of directors," said Sheaffer.

Sheaffer said that means the HOA and its board members will have to hire their own attorneys, and it's possible Martin's family could go after their personal assets.

And there's no telling how much they could get, but it looks like they want more than $75,000 from the insurance company.

"If I were on the board of directors of the homeowners association, I might be opening up a website, asking for contributions at this point," said Sheaffer.

WFTV also found the Martins have asked the state to pay for costs related to their son's death. They may be eligible to receive up to $30,000 from the Attorney General's Office through a state trust fund.