Rita suits still continue to trickle in Orange Court

David Yates Mar. 5, 2008, 7:12am


ORANGE -- Hurricane Rita lost strength and dissipated more than two years ago; however, the lawsuits that followed in her wake continue to trickle in.

Represented by the Mostyn Law Firm, Florence Welch filed suit against Allstate Texas Lloyd's and two of its agents on Feb. 21 in the Orange County District Court, claiming the insurance company low-balled her after she submitted her Rita property-damage claim.

The Mostyn Law Firm was responsible for filing hundreds of Rita lawsuits in the Jefferson and Orange County courthouses in 2007.

According to the Welch's original petition, she submitted a claim for windstorm damages and was wrongfully denied at least a portion of her claim.

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

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

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 adjusters are also guilty of several Insurance Code violations and accuses all defendants of committing fraud.

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

Steve Mostyn and Michael Ramsey are representing Florence.

The case has been assigned to the 260th Judicial District, Buddy Hahn presiding.

Case No. D-080075-c

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