Orange couple sues Allstate over Rita claim

David Yates Aug. 8, 2007, 10:24am

Steve Mostyn

Orange couple Patrick and Lesa Riley are the latest Hurricane Rita victims to sue Allstate for refusing to pay a portion of their policy damage claim.

Through attorney Steve Mostyn, the couple filed a breach of contract lawsuit against Allstate Texas Lloyd's and one of its claims adjusters, Alma Dian Brookins, with the Orange County District Court on Aug. 3.

Suit says the insurance should have covered wind damage.

According to the plaintiffs' original petition, the couple submitted a claim for windstorm damages. Allstate assigned an adjuster, who "wrongfully" denied their claim.

The suit says the Rileys asked the insurance company to cover the cost of repairs to her property but Allstate "misrepresented" the policy to them and denied at least a portion of their claim, "even though the damage was caused by a covered occurrence."

"Defendant failed to explain to plaintiffs the reasons for their offer of an inadequate settlement," the suit said, adding that Allstate and its adjuster refused to conduct a reasonable investigation.

The suit faults Allstate for breaching its contract and duty of good faith and fair dealing, and also alleges the insurance company committed several violations of the Texas Insurance Code.

Furthermore, the suit says the adjuster is also guilty of several Insurance Code violations and accuses all defendants of committing fraud.

The plaintiffs are suing for the unpaid claim, actual and compensatory damages, economic hardship, plus exemplary damages and damages for mental anguish.

They are demanding a trial by jury and are represented by attorney J. Steve Mostyn of the Mostyn Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to the 128th Judicial District.

Case No. A070376.c

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