Couple fed up with auto insurance company

By John O'Brien | Mar 1, 2006

CHARLESTON - A St. Albans couple is seeking judgment against not only the driver who ran into them, but the insurance company they feel failed to conduct its business properly in the aftermath of a July 2005 wreck.

Deborah and Todd Tingler claim in a lawsuit filed Feb. 14 in Kanawha Circuit Court that Encompass Insurance Company violated the rules and regulations of the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act following their accident with Christopher Boggs in St. Albans.

"The plaintiffs allowed the vehicle to be inspected, and the defendant declared the plaintiffs' vehicle a total loss," the claim states. "Rather than compensate the plaintiffs for a total loss, the defendant insisted on paying for the cost of repair. This is despite the repeated objection of plaintiffs.

"The repairs cost substantially more than this defendant's estimate."

In addition, the Tinglers claim that they had to return their 2001 Chrysler 300M on numerous occasions for repairs and that they were not provided a rental vehicle by Encompass.

Also, they say that Encompass would not agree to pay certain medical bills for both. Deborah says she severely injured her right arm, knee and hip and upper chest, while Todd claims to have severely injured his right knee and elbow and left clavicle.

"Encompass has a duty to negotiate in good faith, and has forced the plaintiff to institute litigation when the company has the authority and resources to fully and fairly compensate Deborah Tingler and Todd Tingler, and has failed to do so."

The claim states that Boggs' 1988 Ford Tempo drove into and against the Tinglers' vehicle, and the couple seeks judgment against Boggs in a compensatory amount to be determined.

Their beef with Encompass stems from what they feel was a slow-acting and inconsiderate response.

"Plaintiffs made claims for property damage and personal injury to their insurer, Encompass. The defendant was required to follow rules and regulations promulgated by the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner and Unfair Trade Practice Act Statutes," the claim says. "The defendant has to pay the plaintiff's property damage and personal injury claims within a manner as prescribed by the regulations once the claim has been made liability is reasonably clear.

"Liability in this matter is uncontested."

The couple demands judgment of and from the two defendants jointly and severally in an adequate compensatory amount for their injuries and claims.

The Tinglers are represented by William M. Tiano. Circuit Judge Duke Bloom has been assigned the case.

Kanawha County Circuit Court case number 06-C-288

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