Tile company says insurer wrongfully denied fire claim

Kelly Holleran Dec. 30, 2008, 9:41am

The owner and operator of a Caseyville business has filed suit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, alleging the company wrongfully denied their claim after their business caught on fire.

William Cumberland III and William Cumberland Jr. operated a tile and carpet business called American Floor Designs, which caught on fire Feb. 17, according to the complaint filed Dec. 26 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

William Cumberland III and William Cumberland Jr. filed a claim with Nationwide, but the claim was denied Nov. 19, the suit states.

Before the claim was denied, William Cumberland III had to appear for two "extensive examinations" under oath in St. Clair County and had to sign a number of "broad and intrusive" authorizations so Nationwide could obtain a variety of financial and other personal information, he claims.

Because of the denial, William Cumberland III was forced to find another job and to shut down his tile and carpet business, according to the complaint.

He and William Cumberland Jr. suffered property damage in excess of $100,000, potential liability for tear down and clean-up costs and potential liability in collection actions, the suit states.

William Cumberland III claims he lost his past and future income and experienced a deterioration of his credit rating.

In the two-count suit William Cumberland III and William Cumberland Jr. are seeking a judgment in excess of $100,000 and other relief the court deems just.

They are represented by Bruce R. Cook of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer and Shevlin in Belleville, by Paul Slocomb of Hoffman and Slocomb in St. Louis and by James A. Gomric of O'Gara and Gomric of Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 08-L-663.

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Organizations in this Story

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company
1 West Nationwide Boulevard
Columbus, OH 43215

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