Huntington Beach : Insurance Firm Sues Old World Mall Owners

An insurance firm has sued the owners of the Old World shopping center, alleging that it should not be required to pay $1.2 million a jury fixed as damages in a civil fraud lawsuit last year.

Fremont Indemnity Co. claimed that insurance it sold Old World between 1978 and 1985 did not cover the jury damages, and even if it did, other insurers should share in paying.

A jury found last year that center developer Josef Bischof fraudulently reduced the payments he was required to make to an association of owners of businesses in the shopping center. Twelve store owners filed the lawsuit, claiming in addition that they had been harassed for questioning Bischof's handling of association finances.

Fremont's policy was for coverage of property damage and bodily injury, according to the Orange County Superior court lawsuit filed this week. In addition, the firm was not notified of the retailers' lawsuit against Bischof, according to the lawsuit.

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