Defense case continues in Country Mutual fire claim trial

Amelia Flood May 13, 2010, 4:55am


Defense experts and the plaintiff's ex-wife took the stand in Madison County for the defendant as the trial of an unpaid fire claim continued into its third day.

Plaintiff Brent Davis is suing Country Mutual Insurance Co., claiming it refused to pay out over $300,000 after a September 2005 fire destroyed his Granite City home, car and personal possessions.

Country Mutual has a counterclaim against Davis, alleging he intentionally set the house on fire due to extensive foundation and other problems.

A structural engineer and concrete specialist testified to repair bids that ranged from $93,000 to $98,000 to fix the home's problems.

The defense has also pointed to the $50,000 settlement of an arbitration that Brent Davis and his ex-wife Charlotte Davis obtained from a company over the foundation problems prior to their 2002 divorce and the fire three years later.

Davis testified about that and the condition of the home Wednesday morning.

The insurer also has stressed that Brent Davis allegedly took his wife off the homeowner's insurance policies without her permission.

On cross examination by plaintiff's counsel Anthony Bruning,
Charlotte Davis admitted that she did not like her ex-husband and that she had lied to him before their divorce.

She also testified that although she had been unaware that her husband had taken her off the insurance policy, she would have allowed it.

Testimony in the defense case continued into the afternoon with testimony by defense building experts about the house's condition.

Madison County Circuit Judge Dennis Ruth presides.

The case is Madison case number 06-L-451.

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