Waldo Canyon fire insurance dispute headed to trial in October

By Lance Benzel Published: September 6, 2013 | 7:05 pm 0

A lawsuit in which a 92-year-old Waldo Canyon fire refugee claims she is unable to rebuild her destroyed home because of a negligently drafted insurance policy appears headed for trial.

The claim, filed by Velma Rose against Colorado Springs insurance agent William Beadles and State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., did not result in a deal at an August settlement conference and is set for an Oct. 28 trial before El Paso County District Judge G. David Miller.

Also a plaintiff in the case is Rose's son, Ken Rose, who co-owned the burned home and lost a neighboring home as well.

The March suit alleges negligence and breach of contract.

The lawsuit says Rose was seeking to lower her insurance premiums in late 2011 when she stopped into Beadles' office asking for adjustments.

Instead of raising her deductible, as she says she requested, the suit alleges Beadles lowered her homeowner's coverage to the point she was unable to rebuild when her home burned as the Waldo Canyon fire blew up on June 26, 2012.

The house on Mirror Lake Court in the Parkside at Mountain Shadows neighborhood was purchased in 2005 for $180,000, El Paso County Assessor's records show.

In an April answer to the suit, attorneys for Beadles and State Farm denied charges of negligence and disputed that anything was amiss in their dealings with Rose, saying the contract Rose signed after seeking to lower her premiums "speaks for itself."

The case was fast-tracked in the courts because of a Colorado law that grants scheduling priority to suits filed by those over 70, court records show.

Rose has since moved to a retirement community, according to her attorney, Terry Rector. The lawsuit also alleges that State Farm illegally terminated a monthly housing stipend.

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