Liberty Mutual Insurance Co. has filed suit against Baltimore businessman Edwin F. Hale Sr. and his port-related businesses, alleging Mr. Hale owes $1.3 million for insurance coverage provided by Liberty between 1985 and 1989.
The suit was filed this week in U.S. District Court in Baltimore against Port East Transfer Inc., Hale Development Corp., E. F. Hale Properties and Mr. Hale.
The Hale organization already has paid approximately $4.5 million to Liberty for the period in question, according to Mr. Hale's attorney, James Gast.
Mr. Gast at first declined to comment on whether the Hale organization owes the insurance firm any money. "But if forced to comment, I'd say 'no,' " he added.
He says that the Hale organization has concerns about the way (( Liberty Mutual has charged for handling cases during the time in question.
He said that the Hale organization would defend the case vigorously, adding that he "would anticipate the discovery portion of this case may uncover quite a few surprises."
The attorney who filed the suit on behalf of Liberty Mutual is Phillip R. Zuber of Upper Marlboro. He referred a reporter to Liberty Mutual in Boston. Diane Turner, a Liberty Mutual spokeswoman, declined to comment.
Over the period in question, Liberty Mutual handled a variety of insurance cases for the Hale organization. The coverage included general liability, workers compensation, physical damage, personal injury and property insurance.
The Hale organization is the largest private employer at the port of Baltimore. Mr. Hale recently won a proxy fight for control of Baltimore Bancorp and is now chairman of the board of that company, the parent of the Bank of Baltimore.