Trial lawyer won't give deposition in his own case against insurance company

David Yates Jun. 22, 2009, 9:00am


As a plaintiff's attorney, Brian Sutton has taken the depositions of countless defendants. Now that a defendant seeks to take his deposition, he's finding out what it's like to sit on the other end of the table.

In October 2007, Sutton, a managing partner in the Beaumont firm Sutton & Jacobs, filed suit against his then home insurance carrier, Fireman's Fund Insurance Co., for allegedly refusing to pay at least a portion of his Hurricane Rita claim.

Hurricane Rita made landfall Sept. 25, 2005, two full years before Sutton filed his suit.

However, Fireman's Insurance never made issue with the timeliness of Sutton's claim. Rather, for the past year the company has been fruitlessly seeking to take the attorney's deposition.

A hearing on the matter was slated for the morning of June 22 but nixed before the presiding judge could slip on his robe.

In its motion to compel, Fireman's Insurance argues that Sutton's "petition is vague and contains few facts to support his allegation."

"The condition of Plaintiff's home is at the very heart of this lawsuit," the motion states. "Yet, over the past 16 months, Plaintiff has provided no evidence to FFIC supporting his claims. Plaintiff has simply provided nothing to FFIC."

According to court documents, Fireman's Insurance maintains that it must take Sutton's deposition in order to obtain the true condition of his home and reason behind his unwillingness to offer evidence.

Sutton submitted a motion to quash his oral deposition in response, arguing that he objected to the time and date.

Even though the attorney's motion to quash was submitted Feb. 6, four months ago, the parties have been unable to agree upon a favorable time and are asking 58th District Judge Bob Wortham to decide the matter.

The June hearing has been reset for August.

Fireman's Insurance is represented by attorney Christopher Martin of the Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom law firm.

Case No. A180-440

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