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Ogden shootout suspect sues insurance company for clean-up costs

Published January 14, 2013 7:42 am

Lawsuit • Matthew David Stewart says he's entitled to additional funds.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An Ogden man accused of gunning down a task force officer during a deadly drug raid on his home has sued his insurance company for breach of contract.

Matthew David Stewart, 38, claims in addition to money owed to repair his home following a Jan. 4, 2012, shootout with Weber Morgan Narcotics Strike Force agents, he's also owed for biohazard cleanup and loss of rent at $40 per day — the same amount he's allegedly being charged for his incarceration while awaiting trial.

The lawsuit filed Jan. 4 claims that Stewart's insurers — Fire Insurance Exchange and Farmers Insurance Group — have breached their contract pertaining to coverage on the house at 3268 Jackson Ave.

Stewart remains incarcerated, charged in 2nd District Court with aggravated murder for strike force Agent Jared Francom's death. Stewart He is also charged with seven first-degree felony counts of attempted aggravated murder for allegedly trying to kill other officers, and one second-degree felony count related to alleged marijuana cultivation. Stewart has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

According to insurance appraisal documents provided by Stewart's lawyer, the insurance company estimated the shootout caused about $8,400 in damage to the home — about $4,800 of that was not recoverable due to depreciation of the home. The company cut Stewart and his mortgagee a check for the actual cash value of $3,321.29 to cover the damage.

Stewart returned the check to the insurance company because he contended he was entitled to the additional payments.

In a letter, the insurance company wrote that there is no coverage under Stewart's policy for what he is claiming, according to court documents.

The company also points out the policy is void if Stewart commits an "intentional act," which is defined as directly causing or arranging damage to his home in order to obtain insurance benefits.

jstecklein@sltrib.com