Man says insurer failed to pay uninsured motorist claim

Kelly Holleran Nov. 19, 2009, 5:30am

A man claims his insurance company owes him more than $15,000 after an uninsured motorist struck him.

Robert Newton filed a lawsuit Nov. 13 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Progressive.

Newton claims an uninsured driver exiting a private driveway struck him on July 28, 2008.

"As a result of his collision with an uninsured motorist on July 28, 2008, the Plaintiff, Robert Newton, incurred physical injuries and damages, including, but not limited to, medical expenses in excess of $15,000, disability, and pain and suffering," the suit states.

At the time of the accident, Progressive supposedly agreed to cover Newton if an uninsured motorist struck him, according to the complaint.

On Dec. 17, Newton filed a demand for arbitration, the complaint says.

However, Progressive failed to respond to the demand, so on May 13, Newton claims he filed another demand for arbitration with the American Arbitration Association.

Still, Progressive refuses to arbitrate Newton's claim, according to the complaint.

"As a result of Defendant's breach of the insurance contract, Plaintiff has sustained and suffered great harm, both financially and physically, and will continue to suffer harm in the future as a result of such breach, including but not limited to medical expenses, loss of earnings, litigation costs and attorneys' fees," the suit states.

In the three-count suit, Newton seeks a judgment of more than $50,000, plus interest, costs, attorneys' fees and other relief the court deems just. In addition, he seeks either an additional 60 percent of the amount the court deems Newton eligible to receive or $60,000.

In his complaint, Newton also asks the court to issue a declaratory judgment ruling that Progressive must submit Newton's uninsured motorist claim to arbitration or allow Newton to file an uninsured motorist claim directly against Progressive.

Thomas C. Rich of Fairview Heights will be representing Newton.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-615.

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