Seafood company sues insurance agent over lapsed policy

Kelly Holleran Feb. 27, 2012, 8:00am

A seafood wholesaler claims its insurance company refuses to provide workers' compensation benefits to one of its employees after she sustained work-related injuries.

Nederland Seafood Wholesales, doing business as Triangle Shrimphouse, claims one of its employees, Sharlene Jackson, became injured on Nov. 3, 2011, while working. At the time, Triangle had an insurance policy through defendant Kim Nguyen Insurance Agency that was supposed to provide workers' compensation and employers' liability benefits, according to the complaint filed Feb. 14 in Jefferson County District Court.

However, when Triangle attempted to secure benefits for Jackson, Texas Mutual Insurance Co. notified Triangle that its premiums had not been paid. Therefore, it was not in possession of workers' compensation insurance, the suit states.

Triangle claims it was not aware that its insurance policy had lapsed because Kim Nguyen Insurance Agency had failed to warn it of the expiration date. In turn, when Jackson's injuries occurred, Triangle was not covered because its policy had terminated, the complaint says.

Triangle alleges negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty and breach of warranty against Kim Nguyen Insurance Agency. It also claims the agency violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

In its complaint, Triangle is seeking actual, treble, punitive and exemplary damages, plus attorney's fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Gordon D. Friesz of McPherson, Hughes, Bradley, Wimberley, Steele and Chatelain in Port Arthur will be representing it.

The case has been assigned to Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court.

Case No. D191-960

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