Washington Park property owner sues over delays in fire loss settlement

Kelly Holleran Aug. 22, 2012, 5:57am

A man who lost his home in a fire claims his insurance company is attempting to delay the settlement process.

Charles D. Bonnell filed a lawsuit Aug. 7 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Allied Insurance, Amco Insurance Company, Gateway Public Adjustors and Matt Scarborough.

In his complaint, Bonnell alleges he filed a claim with Allied after his home at 1326 North 53rd St. in Washington Park was destroyed by a fire on Aug. 8, 2011. Following the blaze, Gateway agreed to adjust Bonnell's claim, according to the complaint.

Bonnell underwent a deposition on Nov. 17 at his attorney, Bernard Ysursa's, office with the insurance company's attorney, Morrow, the suit states.

"That during the time of the deposition, Mr. Morrow as advised by both Mr. Ysursa and the plaintiff that the plaintiff had discharged Gateway Public Adjuster and was not requesting payment on said proof of loss, but provided additional information that indicated what the actual amount in dispute would be," the complaint says.

Despite being discharged as adjusters, Gateway received settlement checks from Allied, Bonnell alleges. Concerned about the contact with Gateway and the fact that Allied issued a check based on a proof of claim that had not been signed by Bonnell, Ysursa contacted Amco to inform it that Allied was not acting fairly in handling Bonnell's claim, according to the complaint.

Although Ysursa has since made repeated requests that Allied make additional payments, the company has refused to do so, the suit states.

"That the conduct of the defendants, Allied Insurance, a Nationwide company and Amco Insurance Company has been in bad faith, vexatious and egregious...," the complaint says.

In his two-count complaint, Bonnell seeks exemplary damages and attorney's fees of more than $100,000, plus costs.

Bernard J. Ysursa of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer and Shevlin in Belleville will be representing him.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-405.

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