Port Arthur man sues Farmer's over unpaid fire claim

Kelly Holleran Jun. 15, 2012, 8:39am


A man has filed suit against his insurance company after he claims they refused to pay him damages caused to his property after a fire destroyed it.

Joseph Boone Sr. claims he owned an insurance policy for his property at 436 Neches St. in Port Arthur through defendant Farmers Insurance Group when a fire destroyed it on Nov. 20 or Nov. 21, 2010.

The fire, which occurred at a vacant property, was caused by a mattress that was lit on fire in the dining room, according to the complaint filed June 12 in Jefferson County District Court.

Although Farmers had insured the property, it refused to pay Boone for the damages he says he was owed. In fact, the insurance company has wrongly blamed him for causing the fire, the suit states.

"The insurer falsified its report by stating that the fire allegedly occurred on Nov. 22, 2010, to deny the claim when in fact it knew that the fire was reported on Nov. 20 or 21, 2010, a proven time when the insured was 200 miles away in Houston, Texas," the suit states.

Farmers also attempted to make it more difficult for Boone to file his claim by asking him to provide the insurance company with emails, telephone logs and credit card statements for the past 10 years, the complaint says.

Boone alleges Farmers breached its duty of good faith and fair dealings, breached its contract and violated the Texas Deceptive Practices Consumer Protection Act by refusing to pay his insurance claim.

Because of the insurance's company's actions, Boone has suffered mental anguish, according to the complaint.

He seeks a judgment for unspecified damages, plus attorney's fees, court costs, pre- and post-judgment interest at the maximum rate allowed by law and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by Charles C. Guidry of Cypress.

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

Case No. B192-556

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