Beaumont couple sues to recover under-insured motorist benefits

Kelly Holleran May 11, 2011, 6:17am

Two Beaumont residents claim their insurance company refuses to pay them benefits for damages they sustained in a collision with an under-insured driver.

James and Mizra Fischer filed a lawsuit May 2 in Jefferson County District Court against Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois and Denise Price.

In their complaint, the Fischers claim they traveled on Hogaboom Road on May 8, 2009, when an under insured driver, Grant Tatum, failed to control her speed and slammed into them.

Because of the collision, the Fischers sustained serious injuries and experienced pain and suffering, according to the complaint.

At the time of the accident, the Fischers had an insurance policy through Safeco. The policy included a provision for under insured motorist protection, the suit states.

However, when the Fischers attempted to file for benefits under the provision, Safeco failed to completely pay their medical bills, the complaint says.

The insurance company's refusal to make a reasonable offer came after its adjuster, defendant Denise Price, investigated the Fischers' claim, the couple alleges.

In their complaint, the Fischers accuse the defendants of breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, violating the Texas Insurance Code and of violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The Fischers are seeking statutory, actual, treble and punitive damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest at the highest rate allowed by law, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jonathan C. Juhan of Beaumont will be representing them.

Case No. B189-931

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