Scott G. Winterton, Deseret Morning News
Natalie Henderson sits in the hospital with Craig Trimble after he was was shot in January 2006.

PROVO — A man who was crashed into and shot by a former Lehi police officer is now suing for negligence.

Craig Trimble was shot in the leg and stomach by former Lehi police officer Art Henderson after a high speed, bullet-filled car chase down a quiet Lehi street last January.

Now Trimble and his girlfriend — Natalie Barnes Henderson, Henderson's estranged wife — want financial compensation from Trimble's insurance company, California Casualty, as well as Henderson's estate.

Henderson was uninsured when he crashed his Toyota pickup into the couple's Chrysler Sebring, according to the suit.

The lawsuit was filed Jan. 26 in 4th District Court — one day before the one-year anniversary of the accident and shooting.

"There's a really short statute of limitations for some of the claims my clients are making," said attorney Mark Flickinger. "Filing the complaint stops the clock and still allows us to stop and resolve things. We're hoping to resolve things with California Casualty."

Flickinger said there have been no communication breakdowns between Trimble and his insurance company and that the lawsuit is simply a step to preserve some legal rights.

"As Art Henderson holds no applicable auto insurance policy for the use of his automobile ... plaintiffs are entitled to recover the above-described damages against ... California Casualty pursuant to their contact of insurance for uninsured motorist coverage," the law suit states.

That legal jargon means that Trimble wants California Casualty to pick up the bill for his and Natalie's medical expenses because his insurance coverage includes protection against under- or uninsured motorists like Henderson.

A dollar amount for damages has not yet been stated, Flickinger said.

However, a shooting-laced car accident brings up some interesting questions.

"Generally that creates a very complex coverage is- sue," said Jim Sevey, executive vice president and general counsel for California Casualty. "Coverage arises from your operation and use of a vehicle, not your operation and use of a gun."

Sevey said he hadn't seen the complaint yet, but was not surprised because it's such a common step to preserve the right to continue discussing claims. Sevey said that 95 percent of their claims are settled without a trial.

His office will be evaluating the events of Jan. 27, 2006, when an emotionally distraught Henderson chased Trimble and Natalie Henderson through Lehi, firing at them as he drove. He then used a police maneuver and rammed into their car.

He continued firing into the car, hitting Trimble twice. Lehi police then engaged him in a shooting match, in which Henderson was brought down with a shot to the knee.

Henderson was charged with several felony counts, including attempted aggravated murder and was awaiting trial in 4th District Court when he hanged himself in his Salt Lake Metro Jail cell in April.


E-mail: sisraelsen@desnews.com