Kevcor Construction sues over water damage

Andrea Dearden Oct. 19, 2010, 6:23am

An Alton construction company is blaming its insurance provider, insurance agent and landlord for property damage caused by water.

In the nine-count complaint filed Oct. 12 in Madison County Circuit Court, Kevcor Construction Services Inc. accuses General Casualty Company and Norton & Rain Inc. of negligence, breach of contract and estoppel.

According to court documents, Kevcor Construction leased a building on Bloomer Drive in Alton in 2008. The commercial property was insured by General Casualty through the agency of Norton & Rain. Kevcor says the coverage was determined after an inspection of the property, but the company says it never received a copy of the insurance policy.

In September 2008, Kevcor claims heavy rains caused water to accumulate at the Bloomer Drive property. The water allegedly caused extensive damage to the building and Kevcor's personal property stored there.

Kevcor Construction says it immediately filed a claim for the damages and met with representatives of the insurance company the following day. The company says it was told its insurance policy would cover $15,000 in damages. Kevcor was told to itemize the property lost and submit it to the General Casualty for payment.

After filing a claim and submitting the list of property damaged, Kevcor says it was told the insurance coverage was being denied because of a clause that excluded water overflows from a sewer, drain or sump pump.

Kevcor accuses General Casualty and Norton & Rain of failing to procure appropriate insurance coverage, failing to provide a copy of the policy and failing to inform the construction company about the exclusion for water damage coverage. They are also accused of breach of contract, equitable estoppel and promissory estoppel.

Kevcor is asking both companies to pay $150,000 in damages plus court costs.

The owner of the Bloomer property is also named in the lawsuit. Kevcor argues H. Adams Development Company was negligent for failing to maintain the building in a way that would have avoided flooding. The business is being asked to pay up to $50,000 in damages.

The Meyer Law Firm in Alton is representing Kevcor Construction Services.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 10-L-1051

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