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Homeowner fights insurance company's alleged denial of claim

By Molly English-Bowers | Feb 19, 2016

BELLEVILLE – An East St. Louis homeowner is suing over an insurance company's alleged refusal to pay a claim on her home, which was destroyed by fire.

Latoiya Butchee filed the suit Feb. 5 in St. Clair County Circuit Court against certain underwriters at Lloyd's, London and Cutler Insurance Agency LLC.

The defendant Lloyd's allegedly issued a policy with a limit of $1 million to the plaintiff for property she owned in East St. Louis for June 18, 2015, to Dec. 18, 2015. The property was destroyed by fire on July 3, 2015, and the defendant denied the insurance claim on Sept. 2, 2015, the suit states.

While the plaintiff has cooperated with all aspects of the defendant's investigations and demands and fulfilled all contractual requirements, she is entitled to payment for her loss, the lawsuit says.

Further, the grounds the defendant used to deny the claim were unreasonable, unjustified and not well grounded, the lawsuit states.

According to the complaint, the counts against the defendant Lloyd's are breach of contract and bad faith. Further, the plaintiff would like the defendant to be estopped from asserting any other policy provisions or setting up any other grounds to attempt to justify its denial of the claim, the suit states.

As for defendant Cutler, the lawsuit states it is an actual or apparent agent of Lloyd's. The plaintiff did not choose the defendant's insurance, but the suit says she was placed with the defendant's policy through Cutler. The suit also says the agent of Cutler filled out the plaintiff's application without asking a single question, nor did the agent go over the application with the plaintiff. Therefore, the suit continues, the defendant should be estopped from claiming that the representations made on the application were false or incorrect because they weren't made by the plaintiff but rather the defendant's agent.

The suit is also claiming negligence against Cutler for the above mentioned reasons, as well as the plaintiff's assertion that she believed the defendant had procured the proper type of insurance policy to cover the policy.

The plaintiff seeks judgment of $1 million, attorney fees, court costs and other relief the court deems just and proper. She is represented by Matthew P. Young of Kuehn, Beasley & Young PC in Belleville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 16-L-73

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Kuehn, Beasley & Young PC

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