Beaumont man sues insurer for failing to pay underinsured driver claim

Kelly Holleran Aug. 11, 2010, 10:57am

A Beaumont man claims his insurance company refuses to pay for damages he incurred during an accident with an underinsured driver.

Eric Lane Smith filed a lawsuit Aug. 5 in Jefferson County District Court against Robert Keith Ellis and Farmers Texas County Mutual Insurance Co.

Smith claims he and Ellis were involved in a collision on March 29, which caused Smith to incur medical costs and to experience physical pain and mental anguish.

In addition, Smith lost his earnings, suffered damage to his earning capacity, sustained disfigurement and physical impairment and incurred property damages, according to the complaint.

Smith blames Ellis for causing the accident, saying Ellis negligently failed to maintain a proper lookout, failed to timely apply his brakes, failed to drive in a safe manner, failed to control his speed and failed to maintain control of his vehicle.

Following the collision, Smith contacted his insurance agency, Farmers Texas County Mutual Insurance Co., which he says should have provided him with benefits because he had an under insured and uninsured motorist provision included with his policy.

Despite Smith's policy, Farmers has refused to pay his claim, according to the complaint.

In his complaint, Smith seeks actual, punitive and exemplary damages, plus attorney's fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Matthew C. Matheny of Provost and Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont will be representing him.

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

Jefferson County District Court case number: E187-487.

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