Property owner alleges fraud in hurricane damage evaluation

Kelly Holleran Oct. 5, 2009, 7:44am

A man says he was damaged after an engineering company sent an unqualified employee to evaluate his claims for damages caused to his property after Hurricane Ike struck.

James M. Harrison filed a lawsuit Sept. 24 in Jefferson County District Court against Halliwell Engineering.

In his complaint, Harrison claims he owned property that was damaged by Hurricane Ike.

Harrison's insurance company, Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, asked Halliwell Engineering to send an employee for an engineering evaluation after Harrison submitted his claim, according to the complaint.

However, Halliwell Engineering sent an architect, who was not qualified to perform the requested service and provided a biased report, the suit states.

Harrison alleges negligence and constructive fraud against Halliwell Engineering.

Harrison is seeking actual, consequential, statutory and punitive damages, plus attorneys' fees, costs, interest and other relief to which he may be entitled.

John S. Morgan of Harris, Duesler and Hatfield will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: E184-986.

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