Civil case creates stir in Ky. AG race

John O'Brien Oct. 22, 2007, 2:36pm



FRANKFORT, Ky. - Kentucky Attorney General-hopeful Jack Conway criticized his Republican challenger last week for defending an insurance company in a civil lawsuit against it.

According to a report in the Lexington Herald-Leader, Conway, a Democrat, said last week he feels Lee's decision to represent the company in the case of the death of a pregnant woman does not correspond with the public image he puts forth.

Stephanie Hufnagel and her unborn child were killed when a 5,000-pound concrete panel fell in a parking garage. Devona Jones hit the panel with her car, causing the incident, and Hufnagel's husband Brian filed suit against Jones.

"He is taking the position that Brian Hufnagel, the widower of this woman -- who lost his 8-month-old viable fetus -- should not be compensated for the loss of love and affection for that 8-month-old fetus," Conway said, according to the report. "How does that... match up with his public rhetoric?"

Conway also called the company a "big insurance company in that case that does not want to pay the claim."

Hufnagel's own attorney does not agree with Conway's comments. In the report, Michael Troutman called them "bush league"

"It was quite a stretch for Conway to make any kind of mention of Stan Lee's position in this," Troutman added. "I certainly think his client deserves a defense."

Lee has called Conway "ultraliberal."

"I know that my opponent hasn't been practicing law all that long, and hasn't actually practiced that many cases, so it doesn't surprise me that he would get the facts wrong in that case," Lee said, according to the report.

Current Attorney General Greg Stumbo is leaving his post, having taken a failed run at Lieutenant Governor this year. He's currently mulling a run for the U.S. Senate next year.

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