State Farm and agent sued for denying fire claim

Steve Gonzalez Mar. 9, 2005, 5:50am

State Farm Fire and Casualty in Granite City

Rokeshia Jones filed a complaint seeking compensatory damages in excess of $50,000 against State Farm Fire and Casualty and Robert Diak, its agent in Granite City, because it denied her fire claim.

Jones claims that on Nov. 23, 2003, her Granite City rental home and insurance policy--and all correspondence with State Farm--was destroyed in a fire.

According to the complaint, Jones purchased fire and extended coverage in the recommended amount of $50,000 from State Farm in April 2002.

When the policy was up for renewal in April 2003, Jones failed to renew. However in July, she applied for another policy in the same amount at Diak's office, through a woman named "Debbie."

After Jones paid the premium she asked Debbie why the premium was less and was told it was because her deductible was higher in this policy.

“This inexperienced and unsophisticated plaintiff paid the premium believing that she was purchasing insurance coverage in the amount of $50,000 which was the amount of her previous policy,” the complaint states.

“State Farm’s refusal to pay Jones for the damages as alleged was and is vexatious and without reasonable cause.”

In addition to compensatory damages, Jones is asking to be awarded interest at the rate of 6 percent per annum from Jan. 23, 2004, until the date of entry of judgment and costs of action including reasonable attorney fees.

Represented by Marvin Goldenhersh of Belleville, Jones demands a trial by jury in her case, which has been assigned to Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron.

This case was originally filed in St. Clair County on Aug. 6, 2004, and given the case number 04 L 460

05 L 247

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