BELLEVILLE – Jurors in the court of Circuit Judge Christopher Kolker found Allstate Insurance properly denied a claim from a business of the Sieron real estate family.
They reached a verdict in less than two hours on Nov. 19.
Sieron business Hawk Properties sued Allstate in 2017, alleging it should have covered the collapse of a wall at 464 N. 31st Street in East St. Louis.
Trial began on Nov. 18, with Alvin Paulson of Belleville representing Hawk Properties and Jon Morrow of St. Louis representing Allstate.
Paulson presented evidence for an hour and 13 minutes, and rested.
Morrow filed a motion for a directed verdict.
He wrote that the collapse was not caused by one of the five specific perils providing for collapse coverage.
“Plaintiff did not present sufficient evidence or testimony at trial that the collapse was caused by one or more of the specifically stated perils that would afford coverage for the collapse pursuant to the terms and provisions of the policy,” Morrow wrote.
He wrote that although expert Mark Moerchen testified that a vehicle or other extraordinary force caused the collapse, his conclusions were purely speculative.
Kolker denied the motion.
Morrow presented evidence for an hour and 42 minutes, and the day ended.
Jurors returned the next day for closing arguments that failed to sway any of them from Allstate’s side.