Allstate sues tree trimmer for damages caused to insured's home

David Yates Aug. 10, 2012, 10:00am

Seeking to recover more than $247,000 paid to a policy holder, Allstate Texas Lloyds is suing Bobby McGalin, who allegedly lopped off a tree branch that struck a power line and caused a house fire.

As subrogee of Claude Richards, Allstate filed suit against McGalin, doing business as McGalin Tree Service, on Aug. 7 in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the lawsuit, on Sept. 23, 2011, McGalin was trimming a tree at a neighbor's residence near Richards' home in Beaumont when a cut limb fell across a power line and caught Richards' house on fire.

Following the loss, Richards filed a claim with his insurance company, Allstate.

"Having made payments to Richards for these damages, Allstate stands in the shoes of its insured and asserts its ... equitable rights of subrogation in this lawsuit," the suit states. "Specifically, Allstate seeks reimbursement for the money it paid to Richards."

The suit further accuses McGlain of negligently failing to inspect the area where tree limbs could potentially fall.

The benefits paid to Richards total $247,051.41.

Allstate is suing for compensatory damages and interest.

Houston attorney William Sebesta of Doyen Sebesta represents the company.

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

Case No. E192-788

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