Injured passenger goes after Old Republic Insurance

Andrea Dearden Dec. 22, 2010, 2:34am

A Madison County woman is suing an insurance company after the passenger van in which she was riding in was allegedly rear-ended.

Lisa D. Goessling filed the lawsuit against Old Republic Insurance Company Nov. 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

In October 2007, Goessling says she was riding in a Ford E-450 passenger van owned and operated by National Express Corporation and insured by Old Republic Insurance. Near the intersection of Bottom Avenue and Admiral Weinel Boulevard in Columbia, the van was allegedly rear-ended by a truck driven by Megan Haeffele.

In a separate lawsuit, Goessling settled with Haeffele's insurance provider for $100,000, the limit of liability for her policy. However, Goessling alleges her damages are greater than that amount.

As a passenger in the van, Goessling claims she was covered by National Express Corporation's policy with Old Republic Insurance and believed the policy protected her from uninsured or underinsured motorists. During her attempt to file a claim with Old Republic, Goessling says she was notified in March 2008 that National Express had waived that portion of their benefits. Goessling says her claim was denied.

Goessling contends National Express' policy with Old Republic was deceptive since it puts a limit on underinsured motorists benefits equal to Illinois minimum liability limit, offering nothing extra to the insured.

The plaintiff accuses Old Republic of a breach of contract for failing to engage in arbitration and for unreasonable conduct. Goessling is asking for more than $150,000 in damages and court costs.

Attorneys Mark C. Scoggins and Anthony P. Gilbreth of Columbia are representing Goessling.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case no. 10-L-624

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