A trial is scheduled to start Monday in St. Clair County Circuit Judge Vincent Lopinot’s courtroom involving a breach of contract lawsuit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance.

William Cumberland III and William Cumberland Jr., who operated American Floor Designs, allege in their 2008 lawsuit that the insurer wrongfully denied their fire claim after the building where the men operated their tile and carpet business was destroyed by fire on Feb. 17, 2008.

The owners filed a claim with Nationwide, but it was denied on Nov. 19, 2008, the suit states.

Before the claim was denied, William Cumberland III had to appear for two “extensive examinations” under oath in St. Clair County and had to sign a number of “broad and intrusive” authorizations so Nationwide could obtain a variety of financial and other personal information, he claims.

Because of the denial, William Cumberland III states that he was forced to find another job and to shut down his tile and carpet business, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs claim they suffered property damage in excess of $100,000, potential liability for tear down and clean-up costs and potential liability in collection actions, the suit states.

William Cumberland III also claims he lost his past and future income and experienced a deterioration of his credit rating.

The plaintiffs seek a judgment exceeding $50,000.

Bruce Cook of Cook, Ysursa, Bartholomew, Brauer & Shevlin in Belleville, Paul Slocomb of Hoffman & Slocomb, St. Louis and James Gomric of O’Gara & Gomric in Belleville represent the plaintiffs.

John Cassidy of Cassidy & Mueller in Peoria and Edward Adelman of Goffstein, Raskas, Pomerantz, Kruse & Sherman in Clayton represent the defense.

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company was authorized to transact business in Illinois through Defendant Wottowa Insurance Agency.

Wottowa Insurance agency also is named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

St. Clair County case number 08-L-663.

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