Insurer trying to ‘wear down’ Nathan Carman, lawyer says in court filing

Nathan Carman is brought into the Coast Guard Base Boston after he was rescued from a life raft about 115 miles off Martha’s Vineyard in September 2016.
Nathan Carman is brought into the Coast Guard Base Boston after he was rescued from a life raft about 115 miles off Martha’s Vineyard in September 2016. (Suzanne Kreiter\Globe staff file)

The insurance company suing Nathan Carman, the Vermont man suspected by relatives of killing his wealthy grandfather and murdering his mother at sea, can’t support its allegations and hopes to “string this case out and thereby wear down the Defendant and his counsel,” Carman’s lawyer said in a strongly worded legal filing last week.

Attorney David F. Anderson, who represents Carman, submitted the filing Friday in US District Court in Rhode Island. Carman’s being sued there by the insurer of his boat, which sank roughly 100 miles offshore in September 2016 when he and his mother were on board.

Carman was later rescued but his mother, Linda, hasn’t been found. The boat’s insurer, a subsidiary of the Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate, alleges Carman made suspicious alterations to the vessel before he set off with his mother, with the intention of sinking the boat.


The insurer is suing Carman in an effort to block his $85,000 claim on the vessel.

Anderson wrote in Friday’s filing that the insurer’s request to extend the deadline for disclosing expert witness materials should be denied.

“The Berkshire Hathaway Plaintiffs have used their unlimited resources to effectively string this case out such that this case is now two years old, we have approximately 300 documents filed on the docket and we haven’t even completed the first phase of discovery,” Anderson wrote in Friday’s filing.

Carman maintains the boat sinking was accidental, and he hasn’t been charged criminally in connection with his mother’s disappearance. With Linda Carman’s presumed death, her share of her father John Chakalos’s $44 million estate would go to Nathan, her only child.

Nathan Carman faces a separate lawsuit brought by his aunts in New Hampshire. The aunts allege that he fatally shot Chakalos in the wealthy developer’s Connecticut home in December 2013. Carman’s aunts are trying to block him from collecting any funds from Chakalos’s estate. Police have labeled Carman a person of interest in the killing, but he’s never been charged and adamantly denies murdering his grandfather.


Court records show that about five weeks before the murder, Carman bought a rifle capable of firing the same caliber of rounds that killed his grandfather.

Carman also refused a lie detector test, gave inconsistent statements to investigators about his activities during the time frame of the murder, discarded his GPS and computer hard drive the morning after the killing, had a second tactical shotgun that police seized from his residence, and took notes on making improvised explosive devices, according to a law enforcement affidavit.

In the Rhode Island lawsuit, the boat insurer asserted in a recent court filing that Carman threw his rifle into the ocean the morning after Chakalos’s slaying. The insurer didn’t provide specific details on the basis for the allegation about the rifle disposal.

Carman’s lawyers have countered that a woman they’ve identified in court papers as Mistress Y and her boyfriend may be responsible for Chakalos’s death. The woman was 25 at the time of Chakalos’s murder and allegedly had a sex-for-cash arrangement with the 87-year-old developer, according to legal filings.

The next hearing in the Rhode Island lawsuit is scheduled for Jan. 29.

In a separate development Friday, a New Hampshire probate judge indicated he will grant a 90-day continuance in the aunts’ lawsuit, meaning that case will not go to trial on Jan. 22 as previously scheduled, court officials said.


Travis Andersen can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.