Port Arthur woman sues insurer over payment for collision

Kelly Holleran May 23, 2011, 10:37am

A Port Arthur woman has filed suit against her insurance company, alleging it refuses to pay her for damages she sustained in a collision with an under-insured driver.

Kristal Bazile claims she was driving on the U.S. Highway 69 access road in Port Arthur on May 3, 2009, when defendant Michael Grout failed to stop at a stop sign and slammed into her vehicle.

Because of the collision, Bazile suffered injuries, lost her benefits and sustained mental anguish, according to the complaint filed April 28 in Jefferson County District Court.

Grout negligently caused the collision by failing to keep a proper lookout, by failing to timely apply his brakes and by failing to proceed through an intersection only when it was safe to do so, the suit states.

At the time of the collision, Bazile had an insurance policy through defendant Allstate County Mutual Insurance Co. or through defendant Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co., according to the complaint.

The policy included a provision that allowed Bazile to be compensated if an under insured driver struck her vehicle, the suit states.

However, after Bazile notified Allstate of her collision and the damages she sustained, it did not provide her with a reasonable offer and has since failed to make any payments to her, the complaint says.

Bazile alleges Allstate breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing, violated the Texas Insurance Code and violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

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

Jonathan C. Juhan of Beaumont will be representing her.

The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.

Case No. B189-910

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