BELLEVILLE - An insurance company is accused of attempting to short change on the total amount due to one of its policy holders.
Pamela Wineinger is suing MetLife Auto and Home over the insurance company's alleged failure to pay what she is owed following a car crash in which she was injured, but not responsible.
In a statement, MetLife's communication's manager Judi Maheney, said, "We believe this suit to be without merit and will continue to defend ourselves vigorously.".
The suit, filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court, alleges the plaintiff exhausted all amounts from an underinsured motorist before attempting to get her own insurer, MetLife, to pay the difference.
The dispute has its roots in a February 2017, car crash caused by the underinsured motorist.
Under the underinsured provisions, Wineinger argues that she is entitled to recover from MetLife all that she is entitled to for damages, injuries, and medical expenses after the limits of the other driver's entitlements have been exhausted.
By refusing to pay the full amount, the complaint states, MetLife is in breach of contract.
Wineinger claims she requested $76,281 in July 2018, which she alleges she is owed under the medical payments provision of the policy. She claims the company first offered about half of her requested amount, offering $39,600. The defendant later upped that figure to $50,000, but has refused to pay the full amount, the suit states.
Wineinger is suing for breach of contract, but also "vexatious and unreasonable delay" through its alleged failure to pay the full amount.
"MetLife has forced Plaintiff to file this lawsuits in order to recover the benefits she is legally entitled to collect," the complaint states.
"MetLife has attempted to pay less that the full amount of compensation plaintiff is legally entitled to collect," it continues.
Wineinger is represented by Shaun M. Lieser of Lieser Law Firm in St. Louis.
St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 19-L-559