An insurance company claims it was forced to pay more than $400,000 for damages caused to a Granite City company in a fire.

Amco Insurance Company filed a lawsuit Sept. 13 in Madison County Circuit Court against Alert Electric.

In its complaint, Amco alleges Dial Motor Transit hired Alert to install, service or replace a ceiling-mounted radiant heater on at least four occasions between Jan. 1, 2009, and May 14, 2009.

On Jan. 16, 2011, Dial Motor Transit's business at 565 Walnut Road in St. Jacob caught on fire, causing substantial damages to the company, according to the complaint. The fire originated near the ceiling-mounted radiant heater on which Alert Electric had worked in 2009, the suit states.

"The occurrence resulted from Alert's improper installation, repair and/or service of the subject heater," the complaint says.

As a result of the fire, Amco paid Dial Motor Transit $454,903.91 in damages, it claims.

It says Alert should reimburse it the money it paid to Dial Motor Transit, saying Alert negligently failed to properly install the heater, failed to properly inspect the heater, violated codes in installing the heater and failed to install the heater in accordance with manufacturer instructions.

In its three-count complaint, Amco seeks the money it says it paid to Dial Motor Transit, plus interest and costs.

Steven M. Thompson and James E. Lough of Sneckenberg, Thompson and Brody in Chicago will be representing it.

Madison County Circuit Court case number: 12-L-1473.

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