BECKLEY -- A Fayette County man who was injured in a car accident is suing Nationwide Insurance Co., alleging the insurer has refused to make a "fair and reasonable offer" to settle.
Christopher Young filed a complaint against Nationwide and the man who collided with his motorcycle, Virginia resident George Sparkman, in Raleigh County Circuit Court last month.
The suit was moved to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia Aug. 18.
According to Young's complaint, he was traveling in Virginia on his 2004 Harley Davidson motorcycle when the collision occurred on July 18, 2010.
Sparkman, who is currently incarcerated, was driving his 1999 Chevrolet S-10 truck when he "negligently and intentionally operated said motor vehicle in such a manner as to cause it to collide with" Young's motorcycle, causing him to lose control and overturn due to the impact.
As a result of Sparkman's negligence, Young says he suffered serious and permanent injuries to his foot, ankle, leg, arm, hand, back and neck. He says he incurred medical expenses in excess of $12,600 and "reasonably expects to incur future medical expenses."
According to his complaint, Young says he incurred loss of income and expects to lose future income due to the accident. He says he also has endured pain, suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress.
"Plaintiff Christopher Young has in the past and will in the future suffer a diminished capacity to enjoy life," wrote his attorney, Greg A. Hewitt of Fayetteville law firm Hewitt & Salvatore PLLC.
Young also alleges that Nationwide has "refused to timely make a fair and reasonable offer to settle," and that the acts of the insurer are in bad faith and in breach of his contract of insurance with the company.
He is seeking judgment against the two defendants "in such amount justified by the evidence" for compensatory and punitive damages. He also demands a trial by jury.
In its Aug. 19 response, Nationwide argues that Young's complaint should be dismissed.
The insurer says his complaint fails to state a cause of action against it for which relief can be granted.
It also asserts that it has complied with all terms and conditions of the applicable policies issued by it, and all applicable laws, statutes, rules and regulations including, but not limited to, the West Virginia Unfair Trade Practices Act and corresponding regulations promulgated by the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner.
Nationwide is being represented by Thomas V. Flaherty and Tammy R. Harvey of Charleston law firm Flaherty Sensabaugh Bonasso LLC.