PA woman sues Capitol County over hurricane claim

Kelly Holleran Dec. 29, 2008, 11:00am

A Jefferson County woman has filed suit against Capitol County Mutual Fire Insurance Company, alleging she was not paid money to which she was entitled after Hurricane Rita destroyed sections of her home.

When Carol Linden's property at 2309 15th Street in Port Arthur sustained roof, water, wind and structural damage on Sept. 24, 2005, during the storm, she submitted a claim to Capital, which had insured her property, according to the complaint filed Dec. 19 in Jefferson County District Court.

Linden requested Capital cover the cost of repairs and asked for additional living expenses, the suit states.

However, Capital denied Linden's claim, even though her policy promised coverage for such losses, the couple claims.

Capitol told Linden the damage to her property was not covered under the claim, which constitutes a violation of the Texas Insurance Code, unfair settlement practices, the suit states.

"Defendant failed to make an attempt to settle Plaintiffs' claim in a fair manner, although they were aware of their liability to Plaintiffs under the Policy," the suit states.

Capital also failed to affirm or deny coverage of Linden's claim within a reasonable time, another violation of the Texas Insurance Code, unfair settlement practices, Linden claims.

Capital's behavior constitutes a breach of contract because it did not live up to promises made in its insurance policy with Linden, according to the complaint.

It also committed multiple violations of the Texas insurance code by failing to acknowledge a receipt of Linden's claim, the suit states.

Linden is seeking actual, treble, punitive and exemplary damages, plus attorney's fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief to which she may be entitled.

Michael R. Ramsey and Gregory F. Cox of Beaumont and J. Steve Mostyn of The Mostyn Law Firm in Houston will be representing them.

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

Case No. A182-890

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