Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Jan. 13, 2015, 4:14pm

A construction company accused of negligence after a house under construction caught fire blames the plaintiff for insulating the home with hay.

In a Dec. 9 response, defendant Metro East Roofing denied the allegations mentioned in a lawsuit filed by State Farm Fire and Casualty Company, as subrogee of Henry J. Halverson, on Sept. 30.

According to the complaint, Halverson hired Metro East Roofing to work in his Bellevue Drive home in Collinsville in June 2012 when the defendant allegedly subcontracted the job to defendant Julius Construction to complete the roofing services.

During construction, the plaintiff claims the home caught fire.

State Farm, Halverson’s home insurance company, paid him more than $200,000 for the damage done to the house, the suit states.

Now, State Farm accuses the defendants of negligence, breach of contract and breach of implied warranty. The insurance company asks to be reimbursed for the claim it paid to Halverson plus court fees.

According to Metro East Roofing’s affirmative defenses, it was Halverson’s negligence that caused the damages for his “failure to keep the home in decent repair and for using hay as an insulation substitution near the roof.”

Furthermore, Metro East Roofing accuses Julius Construction of causing or contributing to the damages “for the manner of the roofing work on July 2, 2012.”

Circuit Judge William Mudge is presiding over the case.

Philip T. Carroll of Chicago represents State Farm.

Beth C. Boggs and Michael J. Lach of Boggs, Avellino, Lach & Boggs, LLC, represents Metro East Roofing.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 14-L-1337

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