Man sues Allstate claiming it failed to represent driver who struck him

Kelly Holleran Jan. 27, 2010, 9:19am

A man has filed suit against an insurance company, claiming it failed to represent the driver who struck him in a lawsuit he filed against the driver.

Steven Thomas Kirk became assignee for Enver Hamiti after Kirk won a lawsuit for more than $1 million against Hamiti, according to a complaint filed Jan. 20 in Madison County Circuit Court.

In his present lawsuit against Allstate Insurance Company, Kirk claims Hamiti struck him in an automobile collision on June 30, 2006. Because of the collision, Kirk had his leg amputated, the suit states.

At the time of the accident, Allstate insured Hamiti, the complaint says.

After the collision, Allstate settled a case with Kirk, releasing it of any liability. However, it did not release Hamiti, Kirk claims.

In turn, Kirk decided to file a lawsuit against Hamiti, and a jury returned a verdict in his favor and against Hamiti for more than $1 million, according to the complaint. As a result of the verdict, Hamiti assigned his rights to sue Allstate to Kirk, the suit states.

Now, Kirk has filed suit against Allstate because he says the company failed to defend Hamiti in Kirk's case against Hamiti.

"Allstate initially refused to defend Kirk; midway through the litigation Allstate hired an attorney to sit in the litigation, but did not participate actively in the litigation," the suit states. "That as a direct and proximate result of the aforementioned acts or omission on the part of the Defendant, Allstate Insurance Company, Hamiti was caused to incur a substantial judgment against him personally, and he has incurred attorney's fees, costs and other financial burdens, all to his detriment in a sum in excess of $50,000."

As assignee for Hamiti, Kirk is now seeking more than $50,000 from Allstate, plus costs.

He will be represented by Chris Kolker of Kolker Law Offices in Belleville.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-50.

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