Evola

Schmieder

Lakin

The LakinChapman law firm of Wood River has filed a putative class action lawsuit against American International South Insurance Company, alleging it issued worthless underinsured motorist insurance policies.

Class representative Lesley Schaeperkoetter of St. Clair County claims American International South Insurance Company routinely offers underinsured motorist coverage equal to the state statutory minimum of uninsured motorist coverage.

"Defendant then collects a separate premium for the illusory underinsured motorist coverage," the suit filed Aug. 17 in St. Clair County Circuit Court states. "The premium, in fact, provides no coverage in return, because it is entirely duplicative of the mandatory uninsured motorist coverage."

Schaeperkoetter claims she purchased both underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage from American International South Insurance Company on Feb. 13, 2007, for $15 each. Both the underinsured and uninsured limited coverage provided $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident, according to the complaint.

"Defendant had an obligation to inform Plaintiff and the Class of its worthless coverage, yet throughout the Class period, Defendant affirmatively concealed its scheme of charging premiums for illusory underinsured motorist coverage," the complaint says.

In the two-count suit, Schaeperkoetter is asking the court to certify the equitable rescission for lack of consideration count and the statutory fraud count. She is also asking the court to certify the putative class and to grant a right of rescission as to the underinsured motorist coverage.

Schaeperkoetter and the putative class are also seeking damages, plus a reimbursement of allowable costs, attorneys' fees and other relief it deems just.

Schaeperkoetter will be represented by Bradley M. Lakin, Robert W. Schmieder II and Robert J. Evola.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number: 09-L-430.

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