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OFF BEAT: Insurer taps out Hulk Hogan in Gawker legal dispute


A media company engaged in legal grappling with a wrestling legend is now finding itself tag-teamed by its own insurance company.

New York-based Gawker Media L.L.C. is being sued by one of its insurance companies, Nautilus Insurance Co., over a dispute regarding the legal expenses Gawker has accrued in its legal scrap with wrestler Hulk Hogan.

In 2012, Mr. Hogan sued Gawker for $100 million after one of the company's websites posted a clip of sex tape involving the Hulkamaniac and a friend's wife.

Nautilus claims it is not responsible for Gawker's legal expenses relating to the suit. Gawker, which has acknowledged that it has already spent $600,000 defending Mr. Hogan's legal body slam, says the insurance company is required to pay under the provisions of a commercial general liability policy it purchased because the “emotional distress and mental anguish” Mr. Hogan claims to have suffered are “bodily injury” and therefore covered.

“The insurance policy and decades of well-settled New York law require Nautilus to pay for Gawker's defense against any potentially covered claim,” attorneys for Gawker wrote in court documents filed last week.

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