Property company sues for property damage claim

David Yates Aug. 2, 2007, 9:51am

Caliber Properties Inc., a local company, is suing its insurance provider and one of its adjusters for "denying at least a portion" of its Hurricane Rita claim without performing an "adequate investigation."

Caliber filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Markel Southwest Underwriters Inc. and claims adjuster Robert Miller Jr. with the Jefferson County District Court on July 31.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, the company's building, located at 3540 Sleepy Lane in Beaumont, was damaged during the storm. Caliber submitted a property damage claim and Markel Southwest sent Miller to investigate.

The suit alleges the defendants failed to properly adjust the claim and denied a "substantial portion of Caliber's claim and that the insurance company misrepresented the policy.

The suit alleges that by denying a portion of the claim, the defendant "failed to perform its contractual duty."

"Defendants improperly paid plaintiff's claim for replacement of the property, even though the policy provided coverage such losses," the suit said.

"Defendants failed to explain to plaintiffs the reasons for their offer of an inadequate settlement," the suit said, adding that the insurance company refused to conduct a reasonable investigation.

The suit faults Markel Southwest for breeching its contract and duty of good faith and fair dealing, and also alleges the insurance company committed several violations of the Texas Insurance Code, in addition to violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Caliber is suing for the unpaid claim and economic damages, plus court costs.

The plaintiff is demanding a trial by jury and is represented by attorney Jason Byrd of the Snider & Byrd law firm.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd Judicial District, will preside over the case.

Case No. E179-735

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