PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Lawyers for a man suspected of killing his millionaire grandfather in 2013 met with a judge Monday in a lawsuit over the sinking of his boat with his mother onboard.
Nathan Carman’s boat sank last year during a fishing trip with his mother, Linda, of Middletown. He was rescued after a week on a life raft, but his mother was never found and is now presumed dead. Since then, Carman has denied any involvement in his grandfather’s killing and has said he didn’t sabotage the boat.
Carman’s insurance company is refusing to pay an $85,000 claim for the boat, saying that Carman made “incomplete, improper, and faulty repairs” to the vessel the day before it sank and he knew it was “unseaworthy.”
Lawyers for Carman and his insurer met Monday behind closed doors with a federal magistrate judge in Rhode Island to discuss the case. Carman, who lives in Vernon, Vermont, was not seen at the courthouse. A court filing later Monday showed the judge issued a pretrial order that sets deadlines for discovery and other pretrial matters for Carman and his insurer.
David Farrell, a lawyer for the insurer, the National Liability & Fire Insurance Co. and Boat Owners Association of the United States, told the court in a filing last week that he anticipated that Carman’s “criminal wrongdoing” and “illegality” will bar his insurance claim.
Farrell wrote that Carman’s actions regarding his mother’s death and his grandfather’s homicide, “potentially similarly motivated by” Carman’s possible multimillion-dollar inheritance, are all within the scope of what the insurer might explore as it assembles evidence in the case. He proposed deposing Carman by video in the federal courthouse.
In email correspondence attached to the filing, Carman’s lawyer, David Anderson, said he objected to that plan, telling Farrell, “I told you that just because he had Asperger’s and the tabloid press has had a field day with him, I was not going to agree to have him be treated any difference (sic) than any other litigant.”