Freeburg man sues insurer and broker over allegedly ineffective policy

Andrea Dearden Sep. 7, 2010, 5:46am

A Freeburg man is suing an insurance company for failing to pay short-term disability benefits.

Jerry Trent filed the complaint against Ohio National Insurance Company and John Vassen Aug. 17 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

Trent claims he purchased short-term disability insurance from Ohio National in May 1998. Under the terms of the contract, Trent says the insurance company agreed to pay benefits if he suffered an illness or injury that affected his ability to work. He says he has paid all premiums which total more than $2500 a year.

In November 2008, Trent says he suffered an eye injury on the job and filed a claim under the short-term disability process. He says the injury was documented by multiple medical reports and financial statements. Trent says Ohio National Insurance has failed to provide any benefits. He claims the defendant breached the contract and cost him five-years worth of premiums.

Also named in the suit is the insurance broker, John Vassen, of Freeburg, who sold Trent the disability policy. Trent claims Vaseen had a fiduciary responsibility to purchase the correct policy rather than the one chosen, which has been ineffective.

Trent is asking the Court to award him damages of at least $50,000 from each of the defendants along with court costs.

Lisa N. Pennock, of Belleville, is representing Trent.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L-423

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