Galveston doctor sues insurer for unpaid wreck benefits

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau May 27, 2011, 7:43am

GALVESTON - A Galveston doctor is suing his insurer for not paying him sufficiently after a "near fatal" collision in Baytown more than three years ago.

Dr. Vincent Valentine asserts that State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. failed to honor his underinsured motorist claim of $25,000 arising from a two-vehicle accident with Charles Agustos Chase in late October 2007, a lawsuit filed May 18 in Galveston County District Court says.

Valentine, his wife and his daughter were en route to a wedding in New Orleans when the wreck occurred.

Court papers show on Oct. 26, 2007, a 1999 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Chase collided with the plaintiff's vehicle on the corner of Highway 146 and Pine Meadows Boulevard just before Interstate 10.

The complainant says he and his family missed the wedding because of the accident, which left Valentine with a sprained right thumb and a sore back and neck. He was diagnosed with C2 facet syndrome in relation to whiplash a year later.

Valentine learned that Chase was underinsured and filed for coverage with State Farm. The insurer made an offer of settlement of $1,000 and enclosed a check for the same amount last Feb 14, however, it refused to tender the underinsured motorist limits in accordance with the demand by the plaintiff, the suit says.

A jury trial has been requested.

Attorneys Shaun W. Hodge and Craig Eiland of Galveston are representing Valentine.

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

Case No. 11-cv-0808

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