CHARLESTON - Two Wheeling residents are unhappy with the coverage provided by their insurance company and are suing it.

Melanie Littleton and Edward Minor filed a lawsuit Dec. 1 in Ohio Circuit Court against Progressive Specialty Insurance Co., claiming they were involved in a wreck and denied the $20,000 each was owed pursuant to the terms of the policy.

It adds that the other driver, Rolland Moore of Moundsville, had no insurance coverage at the time of the accident.

The alleged wreck took place Sept. 12, 2006, in Wheeling. Littleton says Moore ran a red light and slammed into her 1994 Dodge Intrepid, causing "severe and permanent personal injuries."

She and passenger Minor both claim to have racked up approximately $2,000 worth of medical bills and are having trouble paying them. Their counsel, the complaint says, advised Progressive agent Theresa Nixon that the two had mounting medical bills and still suffering from pain.

After sending medical documents and a request for the $40,000, the complaint says Nixon "ignored their claims and refused to offer the disputed policy limits."

"The defendant, Progressive, violated its duty to reach a prompt, fair and equitable settlement by making no offer when it knew their claim was worth well in excess of the disputed policy limits," the complaint adds. "Such knowing, willful and malicious attempt by Progressive to settle this claim for far less than an amount it knew was fair and equitable is a violation of West Virginia law."

The plaintiffs say Progressive should have known that forcing litigation rather than settling the claim would "cause additional economic burdens and hardships as well as emotional distress to the plaintiffs."

They charge Progressive with negligence, bad faith and a violation of the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act and seek compensatory damages for, among other things, annoyance, aggravation and inconvenience.

They also make a claim for punitive damages. Joseph Nogay of Sellitti, Nogay and McCune in Weirton is representing the plaintiffs.

Judge Ronald Wilson has been assigned the case.

Ohio Circuit Court case number 06-C-439

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