Jury Agrees With Insurer That Plaintiff Misreprented Loss Of His Lexus

William Andre Shaw v Allstate Property & Casualty Company 05AR-640

  • Verdict: Not Guilty. Arbitration award was $33,482.
  • Special Interrogatories: Did the Plaintiff Andre Shaw knowingly and intentionally misrepresent or conceal any material fact to the Allstate Insurance Company in the submission of his claim? "Yes.'' Did the Plaintiff Andre Shaw intentionally cause the destruction of the Lexus? "Yes.''
  • Judge: Timothy R. Gill (IL, Winnebago 17th Jud Cir)
  • Pltf Atty: Mark C. Johnson of Fabiano Law Offices (Rockford)
  • Demand: $29,115
  • Asked: $29,115
  • Deft Atty: Daniel R. Woods of Condon & Cook (Allstate)
  • Offer: none
  • Pltf Expert: Mark Marinaro, Rockford Fire Dept., 204 S. 1st Ave., Rockford, IL (815-987-5645) (FireCause/Origin)
  • Deft Expert: Russell Nummer, Rayburn Fire Scene Investigations Inc., 909 E. 31st St., La Grange Park, IL (708-588-1970) (Fire Cause/Origin)

This suit arose out of Allstate's denial of a claim by Plaintiff M-35 based on the destruction, by fire, of his 1999 Lexus LX470. The Plaintiff asserted he parked the car in front of a friend's home in Rockford while he and his brother went to their mother's house. He maintained he fell asleep and was later awakened by authorities, informing him that his vehicle had been destroyed ($29,115 property damage).

Allstate contended that Plaintiff made material misrepresentations, concealing his involvement in the intentional setting of the fire which was financially motivated and resulted from the loss of his job 4 months earlier and depletion of his available resources. Shaw had claimed the Lexus was purchased with cash gifts from family members and was lien-free. He ultimately admitted it was purchased with a home equity line of credit and he was several months in arrears in payments at the time of the fire. Plaintiff had asked for damages pursuant to alleged bad faith by Allstate but, as Defendant was found not guilty, this was not addressed.

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