Man sues over insurance claim on amputated legs

By Kyla Asbury | Jan 6, 2010

CHARLESTON -- A man is suing two companies and one individual after he lost both of his legs and never received anything from an accidental death and loss of limb policy he had been paying premiums on since 1996.

Lester Owen Casto claims he was issued the policy in 1996 from Bank of Nitro. In 2006 when his right foot became infected after an injury, it was amputated below the knee, according to a complaint filed Dec. 10 in Kanawha Circuit Court.

Casto claims after the amputation, his left foot sustained accidental injuries due to the pressure and weight and was amputated as well on August 2007.

According to the suit, Casto gave notice to Bank of Nitro and Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Company through its agent Keith Haynes that he had lost both his legs and wished to make a claim under his policy.

Casto claims Haynes indicated that he needed to provide copies of his medical records, to which he promptly provided. He claims Haynes then told him he would take care of it.

In the months following, Casto claims he stopped by Bank of Nitro to inquire about the status of his claim several times and was told each time that Haynes and the insurance agency were working on it.

Despite having received notification in March 2008 and having been provided with copies of his medical records, Casto claims the defendants have not paid his claim or advised him of any additional information needed before it can be processed.

Casto is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, as well as declaratory judgment that Harford is legally obligated to pay insurance proceeds to him for the loss of his legs. He is being represented by Brent K. Kesner of Kesner, Kesner & Bramble.

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

Kanawha Circuit Court case number: 09-C-2266

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