Belleville couple sues insurance companies pro se over unpaid mine subsidence

Andrea Dearden Jul. 24, 2012, 2:24am

A Belleville couple is asking for more than $100,000 from insurance companies that allegedly denied damage claims without cause.

John F. Young and Anne M. Young filed the lawsuit May 31 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Economy Premier Assurance Company, Met Life Auto and Home, Metropolitan Property and Casualty Insurance Company.

The defendants insured the couple's home on Country Club Lane in Belleville, according to the complaint. The Youngs say included in the policies was coverage for mine subsidence, or issues caused by shifting and settling of mine-damaged land. The couple says the home on Country Club Lane had "substantial damage caused by mine subsidence" but says an insurance claim to pay for the damage was denied in June 2011.

The insurers allegedly told the Youngs the damage to their home was not caused by mine subsidence, a decision the couple calls "vexatious" because it allegedly came without a proper investigation. Because coverage was denied, the couple says it will be forced to pay for necessary repairs. The Youngs say they may be forced to move out of the property and pay living expenses elsewhere during the repair work. The couple says the alleged mine subsidence may ultimately lead to a decrease in the value of their home.

The Belleville couple accuses the insurers of breach of contract and vexatious denial of the claims. The Youngs ask to be paid more than $100,000 plus court costs. They are representing themselves.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-289

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