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Contractors seek to dismiss lawsuit alleging Caseyville couple’s house caught fire due to faulty insulation

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Dec 15, 2015


Several contractors seek to dismiss a lawsuit alleging faulty insulation installation in a Caseyville couple’s fireplace caused their home to catch fire.

Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, as subrogee of Alexandre and Malgorzat Dinsenmeyer, filed the lawsuit on June 29 against Turner Enterprises Inc., doing business as Sean Turner Custom Homes, Blue Sky Energy Savers Inc. and Light Brite Distributing Inc.

According to the complaint, the Dinsenmeyers hired Turner Enterprises in February 2009 to build their home at 423 S. Clinton Road in Caseyville. They claim Turner subcontracted with Light Brite to install a fireplace and with Blue Sky to install blown-in cellulose insulation for the chimney and attic.

The plaintiffs allege the building material in their home ignited on Jan. 23, 2014, resulting in fire and smoke damage.

Allstate alleges the cause was determined to be faulty insulation installation. Specifically, the insulation was installed too close to the metal chimney liner. Allstate also alleges the defendants failed to incorporate a shield that would have prevented the fire, the suit states.

The homeowners allegedly incurred $270,985 in real and personal property damages, including their $1,000 deductible payment.

Allstate seeks compensation for the exact amount, plus interest, attorney fees and costs.

Light Brite Distributing filed a motion to strike or dismiss Counts I, III and V of the complaint on Oct. 5 through attorneys John Cunningham and Daniel Hasenstab of Brown & James in Belleville.

The defendant argues that in Count I, the plaintiff failed to make specific negligence allegations against three separate defendants.

In Count III, the defendant argues that the complaint attempts to state a cause of action for breach of contract. However, Allstate failed to attach a “copy of the contract under which it claims it or its subrogors were third-party beneficiaries.”

In Count V, the complaint alleges a breach of warranty against the three defendants but fails to make specific allegations against each separate defendant.

Turner answered the complaint on Sept. 11, denying the allegations against it and filed a motion to dismiss through attorney Christopher Bortz of Neville Richards & Wuller in Belleville.

The defendant argues that the plaintiff “lumps allegations against all three defendant parties into both Counts I and V of Plaintiffs’ complaint, with a single prayer for relief.” Turner adds that the counts do not make specific allegations against each of the defendants.

Blue Sky filed a motion to dismiss Count IV on Sept. 2 through attorneys Michael Hobin and Joshua Severit of Reed Armstrong Mudge & Morrissey in Edwardsville. Count IV alleges Blue Sky breached its contract with Turner to provide proper insulation construction services. The defendant argues that the plaintiff failed to attach the appropriate written instrument between Blue Sky and Turner. Further, the plaintiff was not a party or beneficiary to the alleged contract between Blue Sky and Turner.

Blue Sky also seeks to dismiss Counts I, IV and V, which seek damages of more than $270,985 and attorneys’ fees. The defendant argues that Allstate failed to cite any statutory authority or contractual language to warrant a prayer for attorneys’ fees.

Allstate filed a first amended complaint on Nov. 12 to address the “minor, procedural alleged deficiencies” with the original complaint. Allstate remedied the complaint by making separate allegations against each defendant specifically.

The plaintiff is represented by Cory Anderson and Brandon Carnes of Rock Fusco & Connelly in Chicago.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 15-L-376

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Organizations in this Story

Brown & James, P.C. Neville, Richards & Wuller Reed, Armstrong Mudge & Morrissey Rock Fusco, LLC

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