Galveston condos subject of insurance lawsuit

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Nov. 22, 2010, 12:28pm

GALVESTON - Seascape Condominium Owners Association has filed suit against International Risk Control in an attempt to stop the latter's requests for further compensation.

The association terminated International Risk Control in August 2009 after its claim package was turned down by the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, the original complaint filed Nov. 16 in Galveston County District Court says.

Seascape Condominiums, a 134-unit property located on the westernmost end of Galveston Island, sustained extensive damage from Hurricane Ike in early September 2008.

The plaintiff hired IRC a month after the storm to work on recovering full compensation from its carriers and the windstorm association.

TWIA initially paid Seascape Condominium Owners Association six months after Ike's landfall, but the complainant "realized it faced a substantial shortfall between insurance proceeds and projected insurance costs," court papers explain.

The association insists that TWIA's denial of the claim was because of the defendant's package. Consequently, it filed a lawsuit against the state agency in Galveston County Court at Law No. 3 with The Buzbee Law Firm as counsel and dismissed IRC.

The suit shows that the defendant continuously demanded its percentage of the settlement proceeds from the case despite its termination.

"The contract does not entitle IRC to any portion of damages recovered by Seascape's litigation counsel in a settlement of a lawsuit against TWIA for tortuous conduct and for alleged violations of the Texas Insurance Code," it states.

Seascape Condominium Owners Association argues that "it paid IRC the statutory reasonable compensation for its services at the rate agreed in the contract based on the amount of funds TWIA paid the plaintiff in response to the information to the TWIA by IRC."

"IRC's claims for additional compensation simply have no merit," the suit says.

The association asks for a declaratory judgment from Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner in addition to attorney's fees.

It is represented by attorney Cris A. Rasco of Texas City.

Case No. 10-cv-4172

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