Man sues insurer for not paying underinsured motorist claim

Marilyn Tennissen Sep. 9, 2010, 11:00am

A Jefferson County resident is suing his auto insurer over failure to pay for underinsured motorist claim.

John Clayton filed a lawsuit against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. on Sept. 2 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the plaintiff's original complaint, Clayton was traveling north on FM 105 in Vidor on March 28. He claims Mary Jo Bean, who was operating a vehicle owned by underinsured motorist Peggy Greene, failed to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign at Sawmill Road.

Bean drove Greene's vehicle into the path of Clayton's vehicle, causing Clayton to strike the left passenger side of Greene's vehicle. Both vehicles came to rest on the westbound side of FM 105.

As a result of the collision, Clayton says he sustained personal injuries and medical expenses.

Clayton claims he had an insurance policy with State Farm that covered losses attributed to an underinsured driver.

On Aug. 10, defendant State Farm granted written permission to settle the underlying liability claim with Greene's insurance carrier and waived their rights of subrogation under the underinsured motorist portion of the policy, the suit states.

Clayton alleges that State Farm is in breach of contract, acted in bad faith, committed unfair settlement practices and failed to promptly pay claims.

He seeks damages for medical expenses, pain and suffering, punitive damages, attorneys' fees, costs, interest and other relief.

David Starnes of Beaumont is representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Case No B-187-935

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