Texas City woman says fire claim underpaid, sues insurance company

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Jan. 24, 2011, 7:00am

GALVESTON � A Texas City woman seeks to recover full coverage from her insurer after a fire broke out in her garage last year.

Sandra LaCaze believes Financial Casualty & Safety Inc. underpaid her for the fire because it relied on dubious findings from ACSI Inc. and individual adjuster James Foster, a lawsuit filed Jan. 14 in Galveston County District Court says.

LaCaze's residence and personal belongings sustained extensive smoke damage on Aug. 1 as a result of the blaze in the garage. She subsequently filed a claim with Financial and asked the company to cover any repair costs.

Financial in turn assigned ACSI and Foster to investigate the claim.

The suit argues that Foster produced a substandard report and ACSI failed thoroughly review his assessment, stating the defendants ultimately approved documentation full of inaccuracies. LaCaze additionally asserts she attempted on numerous occasions to discuss her concerns over the estimate of damages, but Foster did not return her phone calls.

"As a result of this unreasonable investigation, the plaintiff was considerably underpaid on her claim and has suffered damages," the original petition says.

"The mishandling of the plaintiff's claim has also caused a delay in her ability to fully repair her home, which has resulted in additional damages. To this date, the plaintiff has yet to receive the full payment she is entitled to under the policy."

The Mostyn Law Firm is representing the plaintiff, and Galveston County 10th District Court Judge David Garner is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-0056

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