A Jefferson County woman says her insurance company wrongfully denied her claim for underinsured motorist protection benefits.

Sheila Branham filed a lawsuit May 12 in Jefferson County District Court against State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.

Branham says she was involved in a rear-end automobile collision with Lisa Kimball on March 20, 2006.

"Said collision was caused by one or more negligent acts and/or omissions on the part of the said LISA KIMBALL, which negligent acts were the producing cause of personal injuries to Plaintiff, SHEILA BRANHAM," the suit states.

Because of the collision, Branham claims she sustained severe and permanent injuries to her back and neck. She also incurred medical costs, suffered extreme physical pain, suffering and mental anguish and lost earnings and her earning capacity, the complaint says.

With State Farm's permission, Branham settled underlying claims against Kimball and Kimball's insurance carrier, according to court records.

After settling, Branham filed a claim with State Farm for underinsured motorist protection benefits, but it denied her claim, Branham claims.

Branham is seeking unspecified damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Brandon P. Monk of The Monk Law Firm in Port Arthur will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: D184-046.

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