Motions to compel filed in foot amputee's suit against Allstate Insurance

Amelia Flood Nov. 4, 2010, 9:53am


Motions to compel have been filed in a lawsuit against Allstate Insurance involving an Alton man who lost part of his right leg and foot to one of the company's former policy holders.

Madison County Chief Judge Ann Callis, who presides over the case, has also entered an order by a defense move for partial summary judgment but the written order is unclear as to what her oral ruling of Oct. 29 contained.

Both plaintiff Steven Kirk and defendant Allstate have filed motions to compel in the suit in recent months.

Kirk is suing Allstate for allegedly failing to properly defend its
former client, Enver Hamiti, from a suit Kirk filed against Hamiti in 2007.

Allstate settled with Kirk in the Hamiti case.

Kirk sued Hamiti for the loss of his lower right leg and foot following an accident at an Alton intersection.

Kirk claimed Hamiti ran a stop sign, hitting his motorcycle and causing the injuries.

Hamiti claimed Kirk was drinking the day of the accident and that his conduct caused the accident.

At the suit's trial last year before Madison County Circuit Judge David Hylla, Kirk acknowledged that he had been drinking on the day of the accident and hospital tests performed after the accident confirmed that Kirk was legally intoxicated.

However, it came to light that a defense witness who claimed to have seen the accident from an apartment window overlooking the scene lied.

The witness, a mentally and learning disabled woman, did not live at the address in question until six months after the accident.

Plaintiff's attorney Chris Kolker stressed to the jury that Hamiti's insurer, Mercury Insurance Company had found the woman and paid her for her testimony.

Kirk won over $1 million in the Hamiti case.

Kirk then filed suit this year against both Mercury and Allstate.

Mercury settled with Kirk.

Kirk had moved earlier this year for a default judgment against Allstate but that move was ultimately denied.

Kirk's suit against Allstate seeks damages in excess of $50,000 and costs.

Allstate had moved for partial summary judgment in the suit earlier this year.

Callis heard arguments on the matter Oct. 29 and her written order indicates she has ruled on the matter.

Neither the order nor the case file gives further detail to date.

Allstate moved to compel what the plaintiff's claim is information covered by attorney client privilege including matters related to Kolker's work on the Hamiti suit.

The plaintiff filed an objection Oct. 29 arguing that Allstate was acting "in typical Rambo fashion."

The plaintiff also argues that an amended complaint that is in the works will make the issues raised by Allstate moot.

The plaintiff filed a motion to compel discovery of its own the day it responded to Allstate's motion to compel.

In that motion, Kirk asks that the defendant produce answers to most of his interrogatories. It also seeks correspondence about the underlying Hamiti claim and issues between Allstate and Mercury that relates to work done by attorney Michael Bedesky.

The underlying case against Hamiti is Madison case number 07-L-165. Hylla oversaw the Hamiti case.

The case Kirk filed against Mercury Insurance Company that settled is case number 10-L-10. Callis oversaw the Mercury case.

The pending Allstate suit filed by Kirk as Hamiti's assignee is case number 10-L-50.

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