Allstate sued over offer to house hit by plane

By John O'Brien | Jun 4, 2013

MARTINSBURG – A Hedgesville couple says their home insurer won’t pay costs associated with a plane that crashed in their yard and struck their home.

MARTINSBURG – A Hedgesville couple says their home insurer won’t pay costs associated with a plane that crashed in their yard and struck their home.

Steven and Denise Bach filed a lawsuit May 23 against Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company and adjuster Joe Freme, alleging the less than $4,000 they offered for damages is not sufficient.

Joseph R. Ferretti of Hammer, Ferretti & Schiavoni in Martinsburg is representing the Bachs.

“The damages to the house are extensive enough to require repairs that should be directed, supervised and approved by a structural engineer,” the complaint says.

On Oct. 5, 2011, an “experimental amateur-built” plane piloted by Harry L. Weber appeared to stall shortly after it took off from an airfield in Hedgesville, according to a National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report.

It was the second flight of the plane, which Weber had been building since January 2011, the report says. He hoped to log the 40 hours of flight time required to fly his plane home to Danbury, Conn.

Weber was killed in the crash.

The Bachs say the impact caused the rear foundation of their home to crack and a wooden post supporting their deck to be sheared off.

They add that movement and vibration caused drywall cracks, mortar joint cracks to ceramic tile flooring and interior foundation wall cracks.

Freme visited the house on May 24, 2012, the complaint says, and an engineering firm came the day after. A month later, Allstate made an offer of $3,645.26, which the Bachs say is not sufficient.

The Bachs claim they were told if they didn’t like the offer, to “Go ahead and sue.”

They make claims for breach of contract, violations of the Unfair Trade Practices Act and punitive damages.

The case has been assigned to Judge Christopher Wilkes.

Berkeley Circuit Court case number 13-c-395.

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