Galveston man says insurer wrongfully denied claim over house fire

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Dec. 15, 2010, 4:16am

GALVESTON - Claiming he should be fully compensated for a fire that destroyed his two-story house earlier this year, Terry Rafferty of Galveston has filed suit against Scottsdale Insurance Co., Crawford and Co. and claims adjuster Alan Ruscher.

In a lawsuit filed Dec. 9 in Galveston County District Court, plaintiff Rafferty alleges the defendants notified him that the Jan. 8 blaze was not covered under his policy even though the damage was caused by a covered occurrence.

The fire caused extensive damage to the complainant's home in the 2010 block of 39th Street in Galveston and the entire upstairs had to be demolished, the complaint states.

Rafferty says he filed a claim with Scottsdale Insurance with a request for the company to cover any repair costs. Scottsdale turned the claim over to Crawford, which then assigned Ruscher to investigate it.

The defendants wrongfully denied Rafferty's claim, the suit states.

Rafferty additionally insists Scottsdale underpaid him as well as under-scoped the damages during the investigatory phase.

"To date, Scottsdale continues to delay in the payment for the damages to the property," the suit says.

"As such, the plaintiff has not been paid in full for the damages to his home."

The plaintiff consequently seeks unspecified monetary damages and a jury trial.

He is represented by attorneys Courtney L. Wadas of Houston and A. Craig Eiland of Galveston.

Galveston County 122nd District Court Judge John Ellisor is presiding over the case.

Case No. 10-cv-4296

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