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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW JERSEY V. CIVIL ACTION NO. _______________ ILLINOIS UNION INSURANCE COMPANY Defendant. ______________________________________________________________________________ PLAINTIFFS ORIGINAL COMPLAINT ______________________________________________________________________________ TO THE HONORABLE JUDGE OF SAID COURT: COME NOW Plaintiffs Juan Espejo and Jenny Espejo, and complain of the Defendant, Illinois Union Insurance Company. In support of their claims and causes of action, Plaintiffs would respectfully show this Honorable Court as follows: JURISDICTION 1. This action arises under the National Flood Insurance Act, as amended, 82 Stat. JUAN ESPEJO & JENNY ESPEJO Plaintiffs,

583, 42 U.S.C. Section 4001, et seq., pursuant to the insurance contract National Flood Insurance Program issued to Plaintiffs through Defendant. This action, having arisen under an applicable federal statute, 42 U.S.C. Section 4072, requires the application of federal law pursuant to the general federal jurisdiction provisions of 28 U.S.C. Section 1332. VENUE 2. Venue is proper in the District of New Jersey because the underlying cause of

action accrued in the District of New Jersey, and because the property that the Federal

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Emergency Management Agency insured, and for which Plaintiffs seek recovery from Defendant, lies within the District of New Jersey. PARTIES 3. Plaintiffs Juan Espejo and Jenny Espejo, are residential property owners in

Harrison, Hudson County, New Jersey. Specifically, Plaintiffs own residential property located at 116 Sussex St., Harrison, NJ 07029 (hereinafter referred to as the Property). 4. Defendant Illinois Union Insurance Company, is a corporation doing substantial

business in the State of New Jersey, and may be served with process by serving its agent, Nancy Flores at its registered address 818 West 7th Street, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017, or any other agent for service. NATURE OF THE CASE 5. Plaintiffs have an insurance policy in full force, specifically number FS

N07846538 001, placed on their residential property located at 116 Sussex St., Harrison, NJ 07029. On October 29, 2012, Plaintiffs property suffered catastrophic damage as a result of

Superstorm Sandy. In the aftermath, Plaintiffs relied on Defendant to help begin the rebuilding process. Through their insurance policy, Plaintiffs were objectively insured for the subject loss by Defendant. 6. Under its obligations as a policyholder, Plaintiffs had paid all related premiums in

a timely fashion. Moreover, the policy at issue covered the subject property during the time period within which the subject storm and flood waters struck Harrison, New Jersey, as well as its surrounding areas.

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Defendant improperly adjusted and otherwise mishandled Plaintiffs claim for

property-related damages. Resultantly, Plaintiffs did not receive proper payment through the coverage for which they had originally contracted with Defendant. Unfortunately, this suit has therefore been made necessary to recover damages arising from Defendants unfair refusal to pay insurance benefits as represented by its agents and by the subject insurance policy Defendant sold to Plaintiffs. CONDITIONS PRECEDENT 8. All conditions precedent to recovery by Plaintiffs have been met or have occurred. AGENCY 9. All acts by the Defendant were undertaken and completed by their officers, Such were either done with the full

agents, servants, employees, or representatives.

authorization or ratification of Defendant or were completed in the normal and routine course and scope of their employment with Defendant. BREACH OF CONTRACT 10. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference all facts and circumstances set forth within the

foregoing paragraphs. 11. According to the policy that Plaintiffs purchased, Defendant has the absolute duty

to investigate Plaintiffs damages, and to pay Plaintiffs policy benefits for claims made due to the extensive damages caused by Superstorm Sandy. 12. As a result of the same, Plaintiffs property suffered extreme external and internal

damages, as well as other flood-related losses.

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Despite objective evidence of such damage, Defendant has breached its

contractual obligations under the subject insurance policy by failing to pay Plaintiffs benefits relating the cost to properly repair the Property, as well as for all related losses. As a result of such breach, Plaintiffs have suffered actual and consequential damages, which continue to grow. CONTRACTUAL VIOLATIONS UNDER 42 U.S.C. 4001, et seg., THE NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE ACT OF 1968 14. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference all facts and circumstances within the

foregoing paragraphs. 15. Defendant has failed to honor the terms of the insurance policy that it had

previously entered into with Plaintiffs, by undervaluing the physical loss and related damages to the Property; 16. Defendant breached its contract with Plaintiffs when it refused to pay the actual

damages from the direct physical losses that were covered under the subject insurance policy, for the full amount of flood damages sustained to the Property, pursuant to the terms of Plaintiffs policy. 17. In addition, Defendant has waived, and are therefore estopped from asserting, any

defenses, conditions, exclusions, or exceptions to coverage not contained in any Reservation of Rights or denial letters to Plaintiffs. 18. Defendant has made this suit necessary for Plaintiffs to recover damages arising

from Defendants improper refusal to pay insurance benefits, as represented by their agents, servants and employees, and through the subject policy sold to Plaintiffs. Plaintiffs seek the full value of the damages from the direct losses sustained at the Property under the policy. Such acts,

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omissions, failures and all related conduct of Defendant is a proximate cause of Plaintiffs damages. DAMAGES 19. Defendants acts have been both the producing and the proximate cause of

damage to Plaintiffs, which far exceeds the minimum jurisdictional limits of this court. PRAYER Plaintiffs pray that Judgment be entered against Defendant, that Plaintiffs be awarded all actual damages, consequential damages, pre-judgment interest, additional statutory damages, post-judgment interest, penalty damages, reasonable and necessary attorneys fees, court costs and all such other relief, general or specific, in law or in equity, to which Plaintiffs may show themselves justly entitled, whether pled or unpled within this Original Complaint. WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, Plaintiffs pray they be awarded all such relief to which they are entitled as a result of the acts of Defendant, and for all such other relief to which Plaintiffs may be justly entitled. Respectfully submitted, THE VOSS LAW FIRM, P.C. /s/ Scott G. Hunziker ______________________________ Scott G. Hunziker NJ State Bar No. 096522013 The Voss Law Center 26619 Interstate 45 The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Telephone: (713) 861-0015 Facsimile: (713) 861-0021 ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF

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HARBATKIN & LEVASSEUR, P.A. /s/ Audwin Levasseur ______________________________ Audwin Levasseur NJ State Bar No. 004302005 2400 Lemon Avenue, Ste. 207 Fort Lee, NJ 07024 Telephone: (973) 908-8529 Facsimile: (877) 599-1825 LOCAL COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF