Homeowners say Allstate better off in suit than against insurance board

Marilyn Tennissen May 17, 2007, 4:00am

An Orange couple says Allstate Texas Lloyds is better off facing an $800,000 lawsuit than it would be facing the Texas insurance board.

Stephen and Tammy Musemeche of Medford Lane in Orange filed a lawsuit against Allstate and three of its adjusters on May 14 in Orange County district court. They seek damages of more than $800,000 for Texas Insurance Code violations, including economic losses, mental anguish, court costs, compensatory damages, exemplary damages, emotional distress and other expenses.

"This demand is made in the spirit of compromise," plaintiffs' attorney Steve Mostyn wrote to the insurer in a document attached to the original petition. "According to our analysis, this demand represents a tremendous savings given your exposure under the Texas Insurance Code."

After Hurricane Rita, the Musemeches filed a claim with Allstate for roof, water, foundation and wind damage.

Allstate sent adjusters Richard Perkins, Kyle Brown and Jason Heenan to investigate the property, who are also named as defendants in the suit.

The company failed to pay full proceeds, misrepresented that damages were not covered, failed to settle the claim in a fair and timely manner, actions which makes Allstate in violation of the Texas Insurance Code, Unfair Settlement Practices, the suit states.

The Musemeches seek actual economic damages of $542,520; mental anguish damages of $50,000; and $217,000 for additional expenses including attorney fees.

The case has been assigned to Judge Buddie Hahn in the 260th Orange County District Court.

Case No. D070-249-C

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