Mother files lawsuit in case of injured boy
Rockland — Cassidy Keene, mother of a child who was seriously injured this summer, filed a civil lawsuit against Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company in Knox County Superior Court Jan. 22 for failure to pay what is due to her family.
The plaintiff is filing on three counts — declaratory judgment, unfair claims settlement practices act, and breach of contract.
Keene's son, Noah, was traveling in a vehicle at the corner of Park and Main Street June 26 with his maternal grandmother, Sharon Setz, when an accident occurred that caused bodily injury to Noah, amputating his hand. His twin brother, Patrick, was also in the vehicle.
Setz was covered by liability auto insurance through Geico that covered $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident and $2,000 in medical payments.
Keene was covered by a liability insurance policy through Progressive and also had underinsured motorist coverage through through the company. The liability coverage totaled $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. The underinsured motorist coverage was for the same amount as the liability coverage.
Keene and her sons have suffered damages exceeding the settlement amount issued from the Geico policy, totaling $102,000, state court documents. On Nov. 19, 2012, Knox County Superior Court approved the tender of policy limits through Setz's Geico policy for the the Keene brothers. From the settlement, Noah Keene received $52,000 and Patrick Keene, $50,000, for his bystander claim.
Progressive consented to the Geico settlement and authorized the release of claims against Setz.
Keene has sought payment from the Progressive Insurance Company for the full amount of coverage of $200,000 and available medical payments.
Court documents state that the defendant, Progressive, has not paid the claims, which are overdue.
Progressive disputes any liability to Cassidy Keene and Patrick Keene's claims, agreeing only to pay $50,000 for Noah Keene's claim, disputing the amount of under insured motorist coverage to all plaintiffs, according to court documents.
"Because both Noah and Patrick Keene have both suffered bodily injured as a result of this incident, triggering Progressive's 'per accident' limit, each boy had under insured motorist coverage available in the amount of $100,000," court documents state, adding that Progressive has attempted to circumvent requirements of Patrick and Cassidy Keene's claims.
The plaintiff requests the court deem the policy is in violation and that the under insured motorist coverage exists to cover damages for all three members of the family, totaling $200,000 for all claims, according to court documents.
Progressive has acted without just cause and has refused to settle claims without a reasonable basis to contest coverage, and as such, the plaintiff has suffered harms as a result the inaction or action of the company, court documents state.
Progressive has 20 days to prepare and serve a written answer to the complaint, according to court documents.
Keene is represented by attorney Sarah Irving Gilbert.
Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.