A newly filed class action lawsuit in Madison County claims "under-insured" policies sold by Esurance Insurance Services are of no value.

Lukus Keeling claims he purchased automobile insurance through Esurance on Oct. 6, 2009. The policy Keeling purchased included a provision in case he got into an accident with an under-insured driver, in which case Esurance promised to pay $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident, according to the complaint filed Sept. 8.

However, because Illinois law sets the minimum limit for bodily injury liability coverage at $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident, any Illinois driver who could potentially collide with Keeling would have the same coverage. Therefore, Keeling or any other Illinois resident who purchased the same insurance coverage would never be able to make a claim against his under-insured motorist coverage, the suit states.

"Notwithstanding the foregoing, Defendant continues to sell $20,000/$40,000 Underinsured Motorist Coverage to its customers, charging them for 'coverage' that is wholly illusory," the complaint says.

In his complaint, Keeling alleges Esurance violated the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act. He also accuses the company of negligent misrepresentation, fraudulent misrepresentation and unjust enrichment, the suit states.

Keeling is asking the court to certify his case as a class action, to award statutory, common law and punitive damages, to award attorneys' fees and to force the defendants to disgorge and place in constructive trust ill-gotten funds. In addition, he wants the court to prevent Esurance from continuing its behavior and to award other relief it deems just.

Keeling and the putative class will be represented by James J. Rosemergy of Carey, Danis and Lowe and by E. Ryan Bradley of The Bradley Law Firm in Clayton.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 10-L-936.

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