CHARLESTON - A Nicholas County couple are suing West Virginia Insurance Company for denying their claim for damages.

On Oct. 30, there was a storm known as Super Storm Sandy that damaged the residence of Ralph H. Meadows and Jennifer D. Meadows, according to a complaint filed May 20 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

The plaintiffs claim the storm damaged the WVIC-insured property, including their primary residence, and heavy snow and ice caused damage to the property.

WVIC conducted an investigation following the storm and recognized on its first visit to the plaintiffs' property that the damage caused by the storm would limit the plaintiffs' ability to live comfortably and safely in the property if not promptly repaired, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim upon WVIC's initial inspection, it was made aware of the fact that the extensive snow had caused the insured risks to become unstable and of the need to immediately repair and/or stabilize the wall and roof to prevent additional damage.

On Nov. 12, WVIC advised the plaintiffs that a structural engineer would need to inspect the damages before they could proceed with the claim and a person was hired for the inspection on Nov. 15, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim on Dec. 12, WVIC denied their claim, asserting that the damage was not caused by the storm, but instead was caused by sub-standard construction.

At no time did WVIC point to any policy provision that supported its denial of the plaintiffs' claim on the grounds it asserted, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim WVIC acted in bad faith and maliciously pre-determined to deny their claim, totally ignoring facts, legal precedent and WVIC's own policy language.

WVIC also acted in bad faith by breaching its contract with the plaintiffs, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and post-judgment interest. They are being represented by Christopher J. Heavens of Heavens Law Offices and William A. McCourt Jr. of Losch & McCourt PLLC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge Paul Zakaib Jr.

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 13-C-982

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