American National sued over agreement with underwriters

By John Suayan, Galveston Bureau | Apr 30, 2012

GALVESTON - Chicago resident Irving Drobny is suing Galveston-based American National Insurance Co. in response to a dispute over arbitrary terms and methods, recent court documents say.

A lawsuit filed April 27 in Galveston County District Court explains that both parties were bound by a cease and tolling agreement dating back to August 2003 which arose from efforts to handle fraudulently collected premiums amassed by the vice president of National Accident Insurance Underwriters Inc.

Arlington Heights, Ill.-based NAIU, which is represented by Drobny in the case, alleges it handled some 25 percent of the reportedly defrauded $43 million while ANICO "failed and refuses to pay the cost of the claims handling and other services provided by NAIU."

The aforementioned agreement intended "to toll statute of limitations that apply to their disagreements."

Three months after the termination date of Dec. 12, 2011, Drobny requested arbitration pursuant to said agreement, however, disagreements over the meaning and procedures have arisen, the original petition says.

Consequently, the plaintiff seeks a declaration from Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia stating:

  • The agreement is governed by Illinois law, both procedural and substantive;
  • The agreement is not enforceable because it lacks consideration;
  • NAIU has not breached any contractual obligation to ANICO;
  • The demand for arbitration was timely;
  • The agreement required ANICO to designate its candidates for umpire no later than April 6, 2012;
  • ANICO has failed to designate timely its candidates for umpire; and
  • ANICO has waived its right to designate umpires.

    Attorney Savannah Robinson of Danbury is representing Drobny.

    Case No. 12-cv-1131

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