Molly English-Bowers Sep. 9, 2015, 12:58pm


A married couple from Champaign County is suing an automobile insurance company for allegedly selling insurance it had no intention of paying claims on.

Suzanne Hallihan and Michael Hallihan filed a suit on July 30 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Progressive Direct Insurance Co. of Ohio, claiming the company sold policies to customers for minimum underinsured motorist coverage that is illusory, is rendered void by the language of the policy and had no intention of using as a basis for paying a claim.

The suit, which the plaintiffs would like converted into a class action, has the following charges: violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, fraudulent misrepresentation and/or omission and unjust enrichment.

According to the lawsuit, Suzanne Hallihan submitted a claim on July 25, 2014, in relation to a loss on Nov. 14, 2011. While the minimum payout at the time of the accident in 2011 was $20,000 per person, the suit states that Progressive denied the claim on July 29, 2014, citing that the bodily injury liability coverage exceeded the underinsured motorist coverage and that the vehicle did not meet the definition of an underinsured motor vehicle.

The plaintiffs seek certifying the case as a class action, awarding statutory and common-law damages, awarding punitive damages, attorneys' fees and court costs, not allowing the defendant to offer the coverage in its current form and a trial by jury.

Plaintiffs' attorneys are James J. Rosemergy of Carey, Danis & Lowe of St. Louis and Zane T. Cagle and Andrew G. Mundwiller, The Cagle Law Firm in St. Louis.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-434.

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