Cahokia man sues Allstate claiming insurer blamed him for setting house fires

By Andrea Dearden | Dec 26, 2012

A Cahokia man is suing the insurance company that allegedly accused him of setting fire to his home two times in just four days.

Virgil Atkins filed a lawsuit Nov. 28 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against Allstate Indemnity Company.

According to the complaint, Atkins owned a home on the 100 block of Edwards Street. Atkins says the house was insured under an Allstate policy that covered property and personal damage, including fire.

In September 2009 Atkins says a fire broke out in the home, damaging the structure and its contents. Then, four days later, another fire allegedly damaged the house even further. Atkins says he filed claims for both incidents and had both denied by Allstate.

Atkins contends Allstate sent him a denial letter in April 2010 saying he misrepresented the facts during the investigations and, as a result, was responsible for causing the fires.

Atkins denies being involved in starting either of the fires and contends Allstate performed inadequate investigations. He accuses the company of breach of contract and claims he is owed fair market value for his destroyed property.

Atkins asks for more than $200,000 in damages and court costs. He is represented by attorney Matthew J. Marlen of Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case No. 12-L-632

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