Unpaid fire damage suit against State Farm in court

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 27, 2005, 3:24pm

All pending motions will be heard at 9 a.m. on Jan. 6 in a suit against State Farm Insurance Company over allegations of an unpaid fire damage claim.

John Cooper claims that on July 17, 2003, his home located at 1452 Chouteau Place Road in Granite City caught fire resulting in the destruction of his property.

He is seeking damages in excess of $100,000.

According to the complaint, Cooper promptly reported the loss of his property, but State Farm has refused to provide compensation as required under the policy.

His insurance premium payments were current before the fire, Cooper states.

"The defendant's refusal to provide compensation constitutes a breach of the insurance policy, in that Cooper promptly reported the loss, and State Farm failed to conduct an investigation and refused to compensate Cooper without giving any explanation of justification," the complaint states.

Cooper claims that more than a year has passed since the claim was submitted. State Farm has a detailed list of damages and destroyed property and has no reasonable cause for its delay or failure to conduct an investigation during the past year, according to the complaint.

State Farm's refusal to pay is vexatious and unreasonable since it has refused to compensate without conducting a proper investigation, Cooper states.

Cooper is represented by H. Carl Runge Jr. of Collinsville. State Farm is represented by James DeFranco of O'Fallon.

Circuit Judge Andy Matoesian will hear the motions.

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