Property owners sue insurance companies for denying coverage

By Whitney Brakken | Jan 10, 2014


Property owners are suing over allegations they were wrongfully denied insurance coverage.

Mark, George, Robin, Lottie and Stanley Kwiatkowski filed a lawsuit Nov. 15 in the Cook County Circuit Court against James R. Serpe P.C, doing business as Serpe Insurance Agency, Nicholas C. Connelly and Connelly Insurance Agency Inc., citing breach of contract and negligence.

According to the complaint, on Nov. 18, 2008, the plaintiffs had an insurance policy through the defendants for their restaurant and bar at 2843 N. Halsted Ave. in Chicago.

The suit states the plaintiffs' restaurant closed and the property became vacant in February 2009. The Kwiatkowskis claim they renewed their insurance policy with the defendants and at the time of renewal, the defendants were aware the property was vacant.

On Jan. 14, 2012, the plaintiffs submitted a claim after their property was broken into and damaged, but were denied coverage because their policy prevented recovery if the property was vacant for more than 60 days, according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants breached the contract because they knew the property was vacant when they renewed the policy and were negligent for procuring an insurance policy that excluded vacant buildings.

They are seeking damages in excess of $57,000 and are being represented in the case by Adam C. York and Michael Aschenbrener of Aschenbrener Law P.C.

Cook County Circuit Court Case No. 2013L013163.

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at the Cook County Courthouse. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt, and it represents only one side of the story.

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