Orange couple sues insurer for pool repairs

Marilyn Tennissen Apr. 4, 2007, 4:00pm

An Orange couple is taking Allstate Texas Lloyds to court for not approving repairs to their swimming damaged by Hurricane Rita.

Robert and Lynda Granger filed a lawsuit against Allstate on April 2 in Orange County District Court.

After the Granger's home and property were damaged by the hurricane in 2005, the insurance company completed an inspection on Aug. 17, 2006, and prepared an estimate of $20,126 for repairs. According the plaintiff's original petition, Allstate only allowed $1,102 for repairs to the swimming pool.

The plaintiffs say the actual cost of repair to the pool came to an additional $33,670. Allstate denied the claim, although plaintiffs argue such losses were covered under the policy.

"Allstate misrepresented to plaintiffs that damage to the property was not covered under the policy," which constitutes a violation of the Texas Insurance Code, Unfair Practices, the petition states.

Plaintiffs claim the company failed to explain the reasons for denying the claim, and did not respond to the claim in reasonable time.

"The plaintiffs' experience is not an isolated case," the petition states. "The acts and omissions Allstate committed in this case � occur with such frequency that they constitute a general business practice of Allstate with regard to handling these type of claims. Allstate's entire process is unfairly designed to reach favorable outcomes for the company at the expense of policy holders."

The Granders are seeking damages for the amount of the claim plus attorney fees, mental anguish, actual damages, amount of claim plus 18 percent interest and compensatory damages for economic hardship. They also seek exemplary damages and damages for emotional distress. They are demanding a trial by jury.

Ryan C. Scott of Brent Coon & Assoc. is representing the plaintiffs.

The case has been assigned to the Orange County 128th District Court.

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