****Eight months after Hurricane Ike trial, case dismissed

David Yates Nov. 29, 2014, 6:00pm


Eight months following a Hurricane Ike trial from which the plaintiff’s attorneys reaped more than $348,000 in fees, the case has finally been dismissed.

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 a portion of her insurance policy claim for Hurricane Ike damages.

The case went to trial on May 29. On June 8 jurors found that Geovera failed to honor the policy and committed deceptive trade practices.

Jurors awarded Escuadra $51,196 for the unpaid damages to her property and mental anguish she suffered.

Jurors also awarded $313,525 in attorney’s fees for representation in trial court and an additional $35,000 if the case is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court of Texas.

Court records show that an agreed motion for dismissal with prejudice was filed Jan. 21.

The next day, Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, dismissed the case with prejudice.

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.

Her insurer 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…”

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

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

Case No. E185-065

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