EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (CN) – State Farm Fire and Casualty refused to pay a black couple’s claim because of their race, the husband and wife claim in Madison County Court. State Farm agent Lisa Darr said that Kenneth and Bea Stanley “could not have owned the amount of property they claimed to have lost due to their race,” the complaint states.
The Stanley’s home was destroyed by fire on April 24, 2008.
The Stanleys claim their policy was current at the time of the loss and that they filed their claim to State Farm in a timely manner.
But they say State Farm failed to secure their property following the fire, allowing some of the Stanleys’ property to be stolen; repeatedly reassigned the Stanleys’ claims in order to avoid payment; falsely accused the Stanleys of theft; paid McCann Construction to repair the Stanleys’ home even though no work has been completed; told the Stanleys that they were too poor to afford the property they claimed; and cut off the Stanleys’ rent payments without notice.
The Stanleys claim State Farm’s treatment was “recalcitrant, biased, racist, prejudiced, vexatious and unreasonable.”
The complaint continues: “Defendant State Farm exhibited plantation mentality, bias against, racial animus toward, and prejudice against the plaintiffs, both generally and in particular by defendant Lisa Darr, who made disapproving comments toward plaintiffs as African-Americans and indicted plaintiffs could not have owned the amount of property they claimed to have lost due to their race.”
The Stanleys seek damages for breach of contract, fraud and infliction of emotional distress. They sued State Farm, McCann Construction and Darr. They are represented by Randall Steele of Glen Carbon, Ill.