Madison - St. Clair Record

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Insurance dispute at trial in Judge Crowder’s court

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Aug 16, 2016

Trial for an insurance dispute following a Collinsville fire began Monday in Madison County Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder’s courtroom.

Plaintiffs Lydia Barefield, Julie Gable and W. W. Schooley, in their capacity as the officers of the Rolling Oaks Condominium Association, filed the lawsuit against Allstate Insurance Company on Sept. 4, 2012.

The Rolling Oaks Condominium is located at 109-123 Rolling Oaks Drive in Collinsville.

The plaintiffs are represented in the trial by Wayne Skigen of Lucco, Brown, Threlkeld & Dawson in Edwardsville.

The defendants are represented in the trial by Condon & Cook of Chicago.

According to the complaint, a fire severely damaged the condominium structure on June 20, 2012. At the time of the fire, insurance policies covering the loss had been previously issued by the defendants and were allegedly in full force.

The plaintiffs seek a determination of the rights of the association and individual unit owners under the noted policies. They also seek a declaration noting that the policies are immediately due and payable.

The plaintiffs explain that all copies of the insurance policies issued by Allstate were destroyed in the fire.

“Despite repeated requests from the plaintiffs to Allstate Insurance to provide replacement copies of the policy, Allstate Insurance has willfully failed to provide the plaintiffs a copy of the policy,” the suit states.

Shortly after the fire, Allstate allegedly had the premises inspected by a structural engineer. The plaintiffs claim Allstate has failed to provide copies of the report.

The association determined that all eight individual units were uninhabitable and directed the owners not to occupy any part of the structure. As a result, all occupants have had to find housing elsewhere, the complaint states.

Further, the plaintiffs claim Allstate informed them that it planned to offer them a settlement to the claim on a “take it or leave it” basis, which they say will be far less than the policy limits and far less than the costs of demolishing and disposing of the remaining structure and then rebuilding it.

However, that settlement was never offered, the complaint alleges.

Since the fire, the City of Collinsville is instituting code enforcement proceedings against the individual owners and the association.

However, Allstate denies liability and denies owing anything further to the association. It argues that it paid the plaintiffs all that it was required to under the terms of the policy and did not breach its obligations.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 12-MR-229

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