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District Judge Gilbert denied couple’s motion to dismiss insurance dispute

By Heather Isringhausen Gvillo | Nov 15, 2016


District Judge J. Phil Gilbert denied a couple’s motion to dismiss an insurance dispute alleging a couple fraudulently sought underinsured coverage for $1 million following a collision.

Gilbert ruled that the motion was moot because the plaintiff filed an amended complaint.

American Family Mutual Insurance Company filed the lawsuit on June 20 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against Michael and Patricia Kash.

American Family claims the defendants made demands for underinsured motorist coverage for $1 million rather than the $250,000 shown on the declaration sheet.

The defendants filed their motion to dismiss the complaint on July 12 through attorney Douglas Dorris of Howerton, Dorris, Stone & Lambert in Marion, Ill.

They explained that Kash was injured as a passenger in a two vehicle accident in Benton, Ill., on Oct. 14, 2010.

On Aug. 28, 2012, the Kashes filed a complaint against American Family Mutual Insurance Company and Blaine Allen Ege Jr. in Franklin County Circuit Court.

In their original suit, they argued that the Franklin County Circuit Court “would need to construe and apply the terms of the underinsured motorist coverage afforded under the American Family Mutual Insurance Company policies which it had issued to Michael Kash and Patricia Kash.”

They claim that after negotiating with American Family, the parties agreed to file a motion for voluntary dismissal for the insurance company “to be reinstated if at some future date the issue of the existence or amount of UIM coverage which American Family Mutual Insurance Company owed to these Plaintiffs would become material.”

The Kashes later settled the personal injury complaint and proceeded to negotiate their underinsured motorist claim. The insurance company paid a portion of the underinsured coverage in April 2016.

“In short, the Kashes and their local American Family insurance agent had evidence that the insurance limits on the policy in question could be $1 million, while American Family contended that it had evidence that the UIM limits on that policy would be only $250,000,” the motion states.

The Kashes argue that American Family Mutual Insurance Company filed the present complaint against them while the parties were still negotiating claims under the terms of the stipulation and order in Franklin County Circuit Court, which stated that the underinsured claims could be reinstated if the parties were unable to resolve the issues.

The plaintiff filed an amended complaint for declaratory judgment on Oct. 31 through attorney Christopher Leritz of Leritz & Plunkert in St. Louis.

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