Michael Barrison had previously been found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting of his apprentice at a ranch in Long Valley.
LONG VALLEY, NJ — A former Olympic jockey who was recently found not guilty by reason of insanity in the shooting of his apprentice on a Long Valley ranch has sued his insurance companies, claiming they breached their contracts by refusing to defend him.
The suit, which was filed Monday, alleges that they have a duty to defend him and/or his business because of the insurance policies he purchased for his Long Valley horse ranch, sweetgrass ranch, and dressage business.
Michael Barrison shot and attempted to shoot student Lauren Kanarik and her fiancé at his prestigious Long Valley facility in August 2019 after what he described as months of psychological torture at the hands of Kanarik.
According to the lawsuit, he received the gun from Ruth Cox, a client who legally owned it but illegally brought it to New Jersey.
The long-running conflict between Barisone and Kanarak came to a head on August 7, 2019, according to a probable cause affidavit, when Barisone went to Kanarak and her fiancee’s rented home at Barisone’s Hawthorne Farms.
According to court documents, at around 2:13 p.m., Barrison shot Knark twice in the chest at close range. He is also accused of trying to shoot her fiancé but goes missing and instead hits home.
In the aftermath of the attack on Kanarik, Barrison was charged with attempted murder and weapons possession. Kanaryk’s harassing attacks temporarily drove Barrison insane before he imploded, his lawyer alleged at trial.
Ultimately, a Morris County Superior Court jury found Barisone not guilty by reason of insanity. He was also found not guilty of the attempted murder of Karanek’s fiancée, as well as the weapons and aggravated assault charges.
According to the lawsuit, Barisone had insurance policies with Farm Family Casualty Insurance Company, American National Insurance Company, and Great American Insurance Company of New York.
Barisone claimed that these acts of material breach forced him to hire attorneys and fund his own defense with hundreds of thousands of dollars paid to his legal team, rather than having those expenses paid by the insurance companies, who were obligated to defend him at their expense. .
The former Olympian is seeking monetary compensation for the money he spent on legal fees.
According to the lawsuit, Barisone had millions of dollars worth of insurance policies from several insurance companies, including bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury.
From Farm Family Casualty Insurance, Barisone claims to have an insurance policy described by the company as a “Private Farm Package ’10 Policy” that offered a total limit of $2 million that included $1 million each.
From Great Americans, Barisone had an “ArgiPak Farm and Ranch policy” that had an overall total limit of $2 million, including $1 million in personal injury coverage. He also had a separate policy called the “AriGuard Farm Disaster Liability Policy” that offered an additional $1 million.
The lawsuit states that “the failures and refusals on the part of the name insurers to provide Barisone with a defense and compensation were acts of bad faith and materially breached its duties and obligations under the specified insurance policies.”
Barisone is currently receiving treatment at Greystone Psychiatric Hospital in Morris County. On April 25, he will have a separate hearing to determine whether he needs to stay at Greystone.