Rita adjusters sued by Beaumont couple

Kelly Holleran Oct. 28, 2008, 6:58am

A Beaumont couple has filed suit against an insurance company and four claim adjusters, claiming they were not adequately compensated after Hurricane Rita struck their house three years ago.

Jo Ellen and Houston Wilridge Sr. own a house at 3225 Sarah in Beaumont that sustained roof, water and wind damage during the hurricane on Sept. 24, 2005, according to a complaint filed Oct. 24 in Jefferson County District Court.

They own an Allstate Texas Lloyd's insurance policy, the suit states.

The Wilridges asked Allstate to cover the cost of repairs on the house and for additional living expenses, the suit states.

The couple alleges Allstate hired four people � Jason Heean, Timothy Cossey, David Huber and Monte Beckham �to adjust their claim.

The company denied the Wilridges' request, saying it was not covered under their policy, even though the couple claims it was, according to the complaint.

Allstate and the claim adjusters failed to conduct an adequate investigation, the Wilridges claim.

"Specifically, Defendants performed an outcome-oriented investigation of Plaintiffs' claim, which resulted in a biased, unfair and inequitable evaluation of Plaintiffs' losses on the Property," the suit states.

Allstate's actions violate the Texas Insurance Code because it failed to accept or deny the Wilbridges' full and entire claim within the mandated time, according to the complaint.

In addition, the company breached the common law duty of good faith and fair dealing by denying the payment, the Wilridges claim.

The four insurance adjusters are liable because they made false assertions, according to the complaint.

The Wilridges are seeking unspecified actual, treble, punitive and exemplary damages.

In addition, they are seeking attorney's fees, costs, prejudgment and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

They are represented by Michael R. Ramsey and Gregory F. Cox of The Mostyn Law Firm in Beaumont.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Case No. A182-588

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