West Virginia Record

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Man, trust sue Nationwide for breach of contract

Federal Court

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 5, 2020

WHEELING — A Wheeling man is suing Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company alleging breach of contract when it denied a claim for an alleged covered loss.

George T. Sidiropolis filed the lawsuit individually and as guardian of Mark Sidiropolis, the beneficiary of the George T. Sidiropolis Irrecovacble Trust in Ohio Circuit Court. The case was then removed to U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia. The other plaintiffs in the case are George N. Sidiropolis, as trustee of the George T. Sidiropolis Irrevocable Trust; and the George T. Sidiropolis Irrevocable Trust.

The plaintiffs claim on Oct. 21, 2018, they suffered a covered loss under a policy with Nationwide and following the loss, the company began an investigation through its employee, Mark Oxenberg.

Nationwide was provided all the information it needed to determine whether the loss was a covered loss under the policy, including an opportunity to have an expert inspect the premises and documentary support for the claim, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim despite that, Nationwide ultimately denied the claim on Dec. 20, 2018, asserting that the investigation revealed that there were two sources of water: groundwater penetrating the north wall and leakage from a spigot inside a cabinet.

Nationwide also contended that the constant and repeated leakage went as far back as August and was the result of a long term leak caused by water and mold damages, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim Nationwide's conclusions were not based in fact and demonstrated that the company placed its own financial interest above the interest of its policyholders and insureds.

Nationwide breached its contract with the plaintiffs, violated the Unlawful Trade Practices Act and acted in common law bad faith, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim Nationwide's conduct was willful, wanton and reckless and caused them damages. 

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages. They are represented by David A. Jividen and Jordan M. Laird of Jividen Law Offices in Wheeling.

The case is assigned to District Judge John Preston Bailey.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Case number: 5:20-cv-00014

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U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia Wheeling Division

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