Plaintiff appealing partial summary judgment in suit against Allstate

Amelia Flood Dec. 1, 2010, 6:00am

A Madison County plaintiff who won more than $1 million in damages in an accident that led to the amputation of his foot, is appealing partial summary judgment granted to the insurer that settled his first lawsuit.

Plaintiff Steven Kirk is suing Allstate Insurance Co. for allegedly leaving out its client when it settled Kirk's 2007 lawsuit against it.

He is seeking damages in excess of $50,000, punitive damages and costs.

Kirk originally sued Enver Hamiti, an Allstate policy holder, in 2007.

Kirk claimed that Hamiti ran a stop sign in Alton, hitting Kirk and his motorcycle.

Kirk suffered severe injuries in the accident, including the eventual amputation of his right foot and lower leg.

That case went to trial last year, ending in a more than $1 million verdict for Kirk.

Following his victory in the Hamiti case, Kirk sued Mercury Insurance Co. for allegedly bribing and coaching a witness's testimony.

Mercury settled with Kirk for an undisclosed amount earlier this year.

Hamiti assigned his rights to sue Allstate to Kirk.

Kirk then filed suit, claiming that Allstate failed to protect Hamiti when it settled with Kirk during the original case.

Although Kirk nearly won a default judgment against Allstate, the case has since continued.

Allstate moved for partial summary judgment, claiming that Allstate did protect Hamiti, who received the full $100,000 in full liability limits set out by his policy

Kirk has argued that Allstate, by not including Hamiti in the settlement release, did not protect him sufficiently.

Associate Judge Clarence Harrison II granted the partial summary judgment Nov. 12.

Harrison stood in for Callis who was overseeing a trial at the time of the Nov. 12 hearing.

The judge found that Allstate could not be held liable on the release issue because Kirk's attorneys initiated it.

Kirk is appealing that order.

The notice of appeal was filed Nov. 29.

Chris Kolker represents Kirk.

Michael Bedesky represents Allstate.

The original suit Kirk filed against Hamiti is Madison case number
07-L-165. Circuit Judge David Hylla presided.

The suit he filed against Mercury that settled is case number 10-L-10. Chief Judge Ann Callis oversaw that case.

The Allstate suit currently being litigated is case number 10-L-50. Callis also oversees the Allstate case.

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