Insurer asks judge to toss Hulk Hogan's lawsuit
TAMPA - An insurance company being sued by Hulk Hogan over a wreck involving his son wants a federal judge to toss the lawsuit. Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, alleges that Wells Fargo Insurance failed to upgrade his coverage when his exposure to risk grew. That left Hogan inadequately insured when his teenage son, Nick Bollea, got into a wreck that grievously injured passenger John Graziano. As a result, the lawsuit states, Hogan had to use his own money to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of Graziano. But in a motion filed today in U.S. District Court, Wells Fargo contends Hogan never asked to increase his coverage.The lawsuit was filed last month in Pinellas County state court; Wells Fargo transferred the case to federal court. Hogan contends Wells Fargo didn't advise him to up his insurance or buy an umbrella policy even though his risk increased each time a teenage driver, a vehicle, a watercraft or a piece of real estate was added to his policies. However, the company says there's no proof Hogan asked for a review of his coverage or any record he agreed to accept increases in insurance coverage. Wells Fargo "had no duty to provide (Hogan) with insurance or insurance services that he did not ask for," the motion states. Graziano suffered a severe brain injury when a car driven by Nick Bollea crashed into a palm tree in Clearwater on Aug. 26, 2007. Authorities said Bollea was racing with a friend. Bollea served 166 days in jail after pleading no contest to reckless driving. Graziano's medical bills and continuing care far exceeded the policy limits of $250,000 per person, Hogan's lawsuit states. With no additional insurance, Hogan's then-fortune of roughly $30 million was unprotected.
Reporter Elaine Silvestrini can be reached at (813) 259-7837.