Man sues home insurer over arson allegations

Kelly Holleran Oct. 18, 2010, 7:52am

A Chambers County man claims his insurance company has accused him of arson and has wrongly refused to reimburse him for damages caused to his home after a fire.

Donald R. Goodman filed a lawsuit Oct. 7 in Jefferson County District Court against State Farm Lloyds.

Goodman alleges his house at 235 Adams St. in Beaumont caught fire on Aug. 11, 2009.

Following the blaze, Goodman contacted his insurance carrier, State Farm Lloyds, to submit a claim for damages, according to the complaint.

Over the next six months, State Farm investigated Goodman's claim "in a manner calculated to construct a pretextual basis for denial of the claim," the suit states.

Goodman cooperated with the insurance company, providing them with all requested documents and submitting to a five-hour examination under oath, the complaint says.

Despite this, State Farm denied Goodman's claim, asserting he intentionally set the fire, he alleges.

In his complaint, Goodman alleges breach of good faith and fair dealing; violation of the Texas Insurance Code, the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Insurance Code; vicarious liability and breach of contract.

He seeks actual, consequential, punitive and treble damages, attorneys' fees, pre- and post-judgment interest, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jessica L. Hallmark and Rocky Lawdermilk of the Law Office of Rocky Lawdermilk in Beaumont will be representing him.

The case has been assigned to Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court.

Jefferson County District Court case number: A188-551

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