Property manager seeks relief in lawsuit defense

By Ann Knef | Aug 22, 2007

A property manager who was sued two years ago by a tenant injured during an apartment robbery is now suing an insurance company for allegedly failing to properly process his liability insurance application.

In a suit against Insurance Planning & Management, Inc., Kenneth W. Chitty, doing business as State Realty Co., claims he lost insurance coverage for defending against a lawsuit brought by Barbara McGee.

McGee claimed she was robbed and nearly car-jacked at 3103 East B St. in Belleville on July 5, 2004, according to her suit against State Realty. Her injuries were sustained in a car crash that occurred while she was escaping attackers.

Chitty states in his suit filed Aug. 20 in St. Clair County Circuit Court that a policy with Standard Mutual Insurance Co. was in full force when McGee was hurt.

"Plaintiff was advised by Defendant and its representatives that an appropriate policy of insurance would be obtained for the protection of Plaintiff and his business, including that portion of his business devoted to managing the property of others pursuant to a contract with the owner or owners thereof," the complaint states.

Chitty claims he was informed by Standard Mutual on Aug. 22, 2005, that he was not covered under the terms of the insurance policy.

Standard Mutual filed for declaratory judgment arguing that it was not required to defend Chitty, his suit says.

"By judgment entered on August 30, 2006, the Circuit Court of St. Clair County found the issues in favor of Standard Mutual and against Plaintiff and found no duty on the part of Standard Mutual to afford a defense or to provide coverage under the policy aforesaid," the complaint states.

Chitty alleges Insurance Planning & Management is negligent in failing to request appropriate liability insurance as a property manager pursuant to contracts for managing others' property and failing to accurately record and transmit his application in connection with his business.

He is represented by Joseph B. McDonnell of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale of Belleville.

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