Heather Isringhausen Gvillo Apr. 15, 2015, 3:58pm

An insurance company accused of failing to pay a stolen vehicle claim is counter suing the plaintiff, claiming she provided false information to cover the fact that she allowed a man to drive the car, who proceeded to crash it.

Kelneshia S. Nelson filed her Jan. 22 lawsuit against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, claiming her vehicle was stolen on May 26, 2014.

In her complaint, Nelson claims the alleged thief caused a collision with her vehicle at the intersection of State Route 161 and Dutch Hollow Road in Belleville.

At the time of the incident, Nelson had an insurance policy with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. She made a claim against the policy for damages incurred but the company refused to reimburse, the suit states.

Nelson seeks a judgment of more than $100,000, plus costs and attorney fees.

State Farm denied the allegations in its March 30 answer to the complaint and filed a counterclaim for declaratory judgment against Nelson and Eldondro Aldridge.

The insurance company argues it had learned through investigation that the vehicle in question, a 2012 Dodge Charger, was never stolen.

Instead, State Farm believes Nelson permitted Aldridge to operate the vehicle at the time of the accident. As a result, the two made false statements to State Farm “with the intent to conceal or misrepresent material facts or circumstances in connection with their claim,” the counterclaim states.

“The failure of the insureds, Kelnesha Nelson and Eldlondro Aldridge, to provide correct statements as to the identity of the driver of the vehicle has substantially prejudiced State Farm in its investigation in that it has made it impossible for State Farm to determine how the accident occurred and State Farm cannot ascertain potential defenses to potential actions by other claimants such as contributory negligence on the part of those claimants,” the counterclaim states.

John L. Bitzer of Bitzer Law Firm in Collinsville represents Nelson.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 15-L-83

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