By Jenie Mallari-Torres | Aug 17, 2018

PRINCETON – A Princeton man alleges his insurer owes him more than $1 million for underinsured motorist coverage benefits.

Augustus Cyphers filed a complaint in Mercer Circuit Court against Horace Mann Property & Casualty Insurance Co., et al. alleging common law bad faith.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that on July 10, 2017, he was involved in a severe motor vehicle collision in Princeton and was injured when a vehicle driven by Aaron Oxley struck his vehicle. The suit states at the time of the collision, Horace Mann issued him an automobile insurance policy.

The suit states Oxley's insurer offered $25,000 in exchange for a release of all claims but Horace Mann refused to agree to waive subrogation and consent to the settlement until December 2017. The plaintiff alleges he accepted the settlement.

The plaintiff alleges that because Horace Mann did not make a reasonable offer of underinsured motorist coverage to him, the policy must be reformed to include coverage benefits of $1 million. The suit states the plaintiff asked Horace Mann to pay this amount in February and that it refused and instead offered $300,000.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against defendants to declare $1 million in underinsured benefits owing to plaintiff, award compensatory and punitive damages, attorney's fees, and costs and expenses incurred. He is represented by Scott S. Blass and Erica A. Cross of Bordas & Bordas PLLC in Wheeling and Eric J. Buckner of Katz, Kantor, Stonestreet and Buckner in Princeton.

The case has been assigned to Circuit Judge William J. Sadler.

Mercer Circuit Court case number 18-C-166

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