Insurer sued for failing to pay for wreck caused by woman on cell phone

John Suayan, Galveston Bureau Sep. 5, 2011, 5:38pm

GALVESTON - A San Leon man is suing his insurer, citing underpayment in the aftermath of a collision last year in Friendswood allegedly caused by a woman talking on a cell phone.

Robert G. Lacouture claims Government Employees Insurance Co. (GEICO) failed to properly and promptly compensate him for his wreck with Dana Marie Barrera on Sept. 5, 2010.

In a lawsuit filed Aug. 25 in Galveston County District Court, Lacouture explains that Barrera was on a cell phone and ran a red light and struck his vehicle.

"According to the police report made by the police officer who was driving directly behind Dana Marie Barrera and was able to catch the incident on his dash camera, Ms. Barrera was using a mobile telephone at or just prior to the time of the auto collision," the original petition says.

"As a result of the auto collision with Dana Marie Barrera, the plaintiff suffered severe injuries."

The suit says Barrera's insurance company tendered her policy limits to the plaintiff, but the compensation was insufficient.

The plaintiff had underinsured motorist insurance coverage totaling up to $100,000 with the respondent, but did not receive any timely payment, it states.

Geico adjuster Michael Schmidt is a co-defendant in the case since he presumably handled Lacouture's claim.

A jury trial is requested.

The Amaro Law Firm is representing the plaintiff, and Galveston County 405th District Court Judge Wayne Mallia is presiding over the case.

Case No. 11-cv-1370

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