First Rita, then insurer deal blows to Orange County resident

Marilyn Tennissen Aug. 1, 2007, 1:50pm

It was bad enough that Hurricane Rita left Carl McFarlane's home unlivable, but the Orange County resident says on top of that his mortgage company had let his homeowners' insurance lapse.

McFarlane filed a lawsuit against AMC Mortgage Services Inc., Texas Farm Bureau Insurance and others in Orange County District Court on July 27.

After the storm struck Southeast Texas on Sept. 24, 2005, McFarlane says that as soon as he was able he contacted Farm Bureau to notify them that his home was completely destroyed and unlivable.

"At that time he was informed that he did not have any coverage on his home," the plaintiff's original petition states.

McFarlane faults AMC Mortgage for failing to obtain proper insurance on the house even though it was required. Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, Tracksure Insurance Agency and others are also guilty, the plaintiff alleges, for "allowing the insurance to lapse even though proper payment was made."

The original petition did not give details, but apparently at one time there was more than one insurance policy covering McFarlane's house.

"The defendants were guilty in canceling both policies instead of canceling one or the other," the petition states.

The plaintiff is seeking damages for the total loss of his home and personal inconvenience in the past and future. Because McFarlane alleges that the defendants acted with negligence and/or malice, he says he is also seeking punitive and exemplary damages.

Steve Mostyn of Houston is representing the plaintiff.

The case has been assigned to the 163rd Orange County District Court.

Case No. B070359-c

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