NEW MARTINSVILLE — A Preston County woman is suing a truck owner, driver and insurer, alleging breach of contract and negligence in causing a traffic death.

Jessica Larew, as administrator of the estate of Shelby A. Titus, filed a complaint Feb. 26 in Wetzel Circuit Court against Valley Plumbing & Electric Inc., William Cunningham and Westfield Insurance Company, alleging Valley negligently entrusted its box truck to Cunningham, a careless and incompetent driver.

According to the complaint, on Oct. 11, 2017, Shelby Titus died as a result of injuries she suffered when the box truck, driven by Cunningham and owned by Valley crossed the center line, and violently collided with Titus' automobile on W.Va. 7 near New Martinsville. At the time of the collision, the suit says, Titus was insured under a policy issued by Westfield. 

The plaintiff alleges Cunningham breached his duty to operate his vehicle with due care and caution and Westfield Insurance failed to make a reasonable offer of underinsured motor vehicle coverage.

Larew seeks trial by jury, an order declaring Westfield must provide underinsured motor vehicle coverage that matches the liability limits on decedent's policy of up to $100,000 and all other lawful relief. She is represented by attorney Eric M. Hayhurst of Hayhurst Law PLLC in Morgantown.

Wetzel Circuit Court case number 18-C-13




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