CLEARWATER — A stepfather is suing an insurance carrier, alleging breach of contract.

Michael H. Heggen filed a complaint March 13 in Pinellas Circuit Court against Ace American Insurance Company, alleging failure to pay benefits following the death of the plaintiff's stepson. 

According to the complaint, on Jan.23, 2015, Bryan C. Smith, Heggen's stepson, died. The suit says Heggen suffered economic damages due to Ace American's decision to deny him the entirety of benefits payable following of the death of his insured stepson under a policy of group accident insurance issued by Ace American. 

The plaintiff alleges Ace American Insurance breached the insurance policy by failing to pay benefits due to Heggen, and obligated him to retain and pay for counsel to protect his legal interests.

Heggen seeks trial by jury, damages of more than $15,000, benefits, penalties, interest, court costs and attorney fees. He is represented by attorney Barry E. Berger of Law Offices of Berger & Dowling in Palm Harbor.

Pinellas Circuit Court case number 18-CA-1565

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