Hurricane Rita insurance trial reset till October

David Yates Jul. 14, 2010, 9:55am

Dozens of potential jurors returned to their jobs and homes early on Monday, as a perspective trial over a couple's Hurricane Rita policy claim was reset until October.

Jefferson County residents John and Deborah Cahill filed suit against Liberty Lloyds of Texas, Liberty Mutual and claims adjuster Robert Sherman in August 2007, alleging the defendants failed to fully compensate them after Hurricane Rita trounced the Golden Triangle in September 2005.

Liberty Lloyds, Liberty Mutual and the Cahills were set to go to trial on July 12 in Judge Donald Floyd's court, but a scheduling conflict forced the parties to postpone the trial until October.

Sherman was non-suited by the Cahills last May.

Court records show that the couple's Beaumont residence was covered by an insurance policy issued by Liberty Lloyds and Liberty Mutual.

"On Sept. 24, 2005, Hurricane Rita struck Jefferson County, causing severe damage to homes and businesses throughout the Golden Triangle area, including plaintiffs' residence," the suit states.

The Cahills submitted a claim for water and wind damage, requesting living expenses as well, court papers say.

The insurance company sent Sherman to adjust the claim. After an inspection, "Liberty Lloyds and Liberty Mutual wrongfully denied plaintiffs' claim for repairs, even though the policy provided coverage for losses such as those suffered by plaintiffs," the suit states.

The couple accuses the insurance providers of violating Texas' Insurance Code and of committing violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

When the trial gets underway, they will ask jurors to award them actual damages and damages for their mental anguish.

The Cahills are represented by Houston attorney Steve Mostyn.

Liberty Lloyds is represented by attorney Christopher Martin of Houston law firm Martin, Disiere, Jefferson & Wisdom. Liberty Mutual is represented by attorney Patrick Mosley.

Case No. E179-743

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