Insurer paid lawsuit settlement out of retirement acounts, suit says

Steve Gonzalez May 7, 2008, 6:20am

Two employees of C&W Auto Glass in Jefferson County filed suit against insurance agent Pat Shell and Amerus Life Insurance Company in Madison County Circuit Court April 30, alleging they violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.

According to the complaint, Earl Robertson and Roger Lane reached a settlement in a Jefferson County lawsuit in which monies were paid to them in exchange for a dismissal of their case and release of their claims.

The new complaint does not state what Robertson and Lane sought or alleged in the Jefferson County complaint, but alleges they learned that the settlement of their claims was actually a draw against their retirement accounts and not a payment as required in the settlement agreement.

Robertson and Lane allege the defendants' actions were fraudulent and in violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and has cost them "thousands" of dollars.

"The fraudulent act was willful and egregious and punitive damages are appropriate as a damage in this case," the complaint states.

They are each seeking a judgment in excess of $50,000 that will compensate them for the principal amount they have paid, interest which should have accrued, punitive damages, attorney fees and costs of the suit.

Robertson and Lane are represented by Christopher Daniels of Centralia.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge David Hylla.

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