Man wants second arbitrator to settle auto accident claim

Kelly Holleran Nov. 1, 2011, 10:34am

A St. Clair County man has filed suit against his insurance company, alleging it has refused to help him secure additional money for damages he sustained in a collision.

Craig Earland claims he was involved in a collision on Aug. 16, 2009. The accident was not Earland's fault, and the other driver's insurance company paid Earland $50,000 under the other driver's liability coverage, according to the complaint filed Oct. 24 in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

However, the money was not enough to cover the total damages Earland incurred, the suit states.

As a result, he sought arbitration for underinsured motorist coverage through his insurance company, defendant Liberty Mutual, the complaint says.

Despite Earland's repeated requests for an arbitrator to settle the different views between him and his insurance company, Liberty Mutual has failed to appoint one, Earland claims.

Earland alleges breach of contract and vexatious delay against Liberty Mutual.

He is seeking a declaratory judgment finding that Liberty Mutual has failed to appoint an arbitrator. Earland wants the court to appoint a second arbitrator so the uninsured motorist coverage issue can proceed.

In addition, Earland is seeking a judgment of more than $50,000 but less than $74,000, plus interest, costs, attorney's fees and other relief the court deems just.

Chris Kolker of Kolker Law Offices in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 11-L-600.

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