Business or personal? Use of stolen audio equipment basis of Galveston insurance suit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Mar. 18, 2009, 2:22pm

GALVESTON � Arguing his property loss claim should have been approved because it does not go against exclusion policy, a Galveston County man seeks approximately $40,000 in damages and attorney's fees from his insurance company, recent court documents say.

Christopher Perez says the North American subsidiary of Britain-based Lloyd's refused to cover him after a burglary at the plaintiff's father's Galveston residence on Aug. 24, 2006.

The plaintiff, who filed the breach of contract suit in Galveston County District Court on March 6, explains he lost $20,000 worth of audio equipment and made a claim between November that same year and February 2007 to no avail.

According to the defendant, Perez's losses count as "business personal property which consists of samples or articles for sale or delivery or is away from the resident premises."

Perez tried to explain to a company representative that the reportedly stolen items were used in his business, and he occasionally took them to use for work, the complaint says.

"The plaintiff's equipment did not, however, consist of samples or articles for sale or delivery; neither was the property away from the residence," the suit states. "The policy exclusion cited by the letter clearly does not apply."

It adds even if the insured had been working from home at the time of the alleged theft, the exclusion would be null and void.

The defendant is ultimately accused of trying to depreciate the plaintiff's property.

"The insured opted for additional coverage," the suit says. "This additional coverage means that 'there will not be a deduction for depreciation.'"

In addition to actual compensation, Perez is suing for an additional $20,000 in the event of an appeal.

A request for a jury trial was also submitted.

He is represented by Galveston attorney Anthony P. Griffin. Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 09CV0309

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