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The 23-year-old model and fashion blogger from Plano, Texas, has filed court documents in Dallas suing the company insuring the plane owned by defendants Shell Aviation and Michael Shell and piloted by Curt Richmond. On Dec. 3, 2011, Scruggs ended up losing her left eye and had her left hand severed by a spinning propeller when she walked into it after exiting the plane under darkness following a flight to view Christmas lights in the Dallas area.
In her claim, which was first reported by TMZ.com, she states that the insurance company, Aggressive Insurance Services, “verbally offered’’ to pay her $200,000 for the accident. The company claims that it has a maximum limit of $1 million total coverage for each plane, including a $100,000 sublimit for each passenger. Since Richmond was covered by an extra policy extending to other planes he flies, the company offered a $200,000 payout from the combination of the two policies, saying it was the maximum.
However, in court documents, Scruggs disputes her status as a “passenger’’ in the eyes of the insurance company. The policies define a “passenger” as “any person, other than the pilot, who is in the aircraft or getting in or out of it,” according to her complaint. Scruggs claims she was not a passenger because “she was not in the aircraft or getting in or out of it at the time of the incident.’’
According to her complaint, Scruggs said “she had completed her exit from the aircraft prior to the time of the incident and was physically located on the tarmac when the incident happened. Until struck by the propeller, she was not in physical contact with the aircraft after her exit.”
Scruggs is asking for the court to define whether she was a “passenger’’ or not under the insurance company guidelines. If she is not found to have been a passenger, she can presumably reap a higher payout for the accident.
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