MT. VERNON-The Fifth Appellate Court has affirmed the Madison County Circuit Court's denial of the motion to compel arbitration by CIM Insurance, defendant in a lawsuit alleging it charged too much for extended auto warranties.

Armettia Peach, represented by the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River, filed the class action lawsuit against CIM charging fraud and breach of contract in September 2002.

Judge Nicholas Byron denied the motion in October 2003.

Peach bought an "Extended Protection Plan"-- or extended warranty-- from CIM when she bought a car at an Enterprise Car Sales in Glen Carbon. She claims Enterprise didn't tell her it was making any money on the warranty sale.

CIM held that per the purchase contract signed by Peach, the complaint should be arbitrated not litigated. The court disagreed.

"The record in this case does not satisfy the requirements of equitable estoppel as defined by Illinois courts," wrote Justice James K. Donovan. "When Peach entered into the contract that had an arbitration clause with Enterprise, she took no action from which CIM could have reasonably relied on to its detriment that she would arbitrate any claim she had against CIM."

Peach's daughter, Ashley, recently filed three class action lawsuits in Madison County Circuit Court, including one against K-mart for not refunding 52 cents to her in cash from a gift card.

Ashley Peach, also suing Wal-Mart and Fashion Bug, is similarly represented by the Lakin Law Firm.

More News