Hurricane Ike trial now slated for April

David Yates Feb. 13, 2012, 7:14am

A Jefferson County jury soon will determine the outcome of a Hurricane Ike lawsuit, possibly setting the tone for the thousands of other Ike cases currently cluttering the Beaumont courthouse.

On Oct. 5, 2009, policyholder Maria Escuadra filed suit against Geovera Specialty Insurance, ICA Adjusters and Jade Saucier in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the defendants denied at least a portion of her claim for Hurricane Ike damages.

The case was slated to go to trial next month; however, a courthouse official informed the Southeast Texas Record that the case had been bumped to the court's April docket.

According to the plaintiff's original petition, Escuadra's Beaumont home was damaged on Sept. 12, 2008, during Hurricane Ike when a tree fell onto her roof, causing the interior of the residence to suffer considerable water damage.

Geovera assigned ICA Adjusters and Saucier to investigate and adjust the claim.

"...Geovera wrongfully denied plaintiff's claim for repairs of the property, even though the policy provided coverage for losses such as those suffered by plaintiff," the suit states.

"Furthermore, Geovera underpaid some of plaintiff's claims by not providing full coverage for the damages sustained..."

Escuadra alleges the defendants are guilty of several Texas Insurance Code violations and of violating the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

She is suing for actual and consequential damages, plus attorney's fees.

Attorney Gregory Cox of the Mostyn Law Firm in Houston represents her.

The defendants are represented in part by Dallas attorney Rhonda Thompson.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, is assigned to the case.

Case No. E185-065

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