HUNTINGTON - A policyholder is suing Westfield Insurance Company for denying an underinsured coverage claim he filed after he was injured in a car accident.

On Sept. 10, William McMullen was involved in an automobile collision and he resolved the claim with Darlene S. Martin, who caused the collision, for her policy limits of $20,000 paid by Allstate Insurance Company, according to a complaint filed April 12 in Cabell Circuit Court.

McMullen claims he had a policy of underinsured insurance coverage with Westfield and it wrongfully denied his claim.

The total coverage provided by the liability insurance policy available to Martin was inadequate to fully satisfy McMullen's claim this making him an underinsured beneficiary of the policy, according to the suit.

McMullen claims as a result of Martin's negligence, he sustained injuries, damages and medical expenses totaling $13,580.16 in addition to sustaining pain and suffering; a loss of enjoyment of life; and annoyance, aggravation and inconvenience.

At the time of the collision, McMullen was insured under a policy of underinsured motorist coverage issued to him by Westfield in the amount of $100,000 underinsured motorist coverage, according to the suit, and McMullen performed all obligations owed by him under the policy.

McMullen claims upon resolving the claim for policy limits with Allstate, insuring Martin for policy limits of $20,000, he requested a waiver of subrogation from Westfield, which was given.

The plaintiff then presented an underinsured motorist claim to Westfield, demanding $20,000 for underinsured coverage and Westfield initially denied the claim entirely, then subsequently offered $1,000 of underinsured motorist coverage, according to the suit.

McMullen claims Westfield placed its own interests ahead of the welfare of its first part insured by the way it handled the claim.

The defendant knew or should have known its refusal to tender a fair and reasonable settlement offer from coverage available to its own insured under its underinsured motorist portion of the policy was wrongful, according to the suit.

McMullen is seeking compensatory damages. He is being represented by R. Matthew Vital of Vital & Vital LC.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge F. Jane Hustead.

Cabell Circuit Court case number: 13-C-241

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