Man says insurance company refuses to pay him adequately for collision

Kelly Holleran Jun. 3, 2013, 7:48pm

A man has filed suit against his insurance company, alleging it failed to pay him adequately for property damages he sustained during a collision.

James Bienvenu claims his daughter, Megan Bienvenu, was driving his 2005 Volkswagon at the 200 block of N. Interstate Highway 35 in San Marcos in Hays County. 

Megan Bienvenu had attempted to exit the highway and was driving in the right-hand lane of the southbound frontage road when Eric Knott, who had been traveling in the left southbound lane, unexpectedly made a wide, right turn directly in front of Megan Bienvenu. In turn, he struck the Volkswagon, causing extensive property damages, according to the complaint filed May 28 in Jefferson County District Court.

Following the collision, James Bienvenu made a claim with his insurance company, defendant Liberty Mutual. It assured him that it would pay him for the damages caused to his vehicle and would pursue a claim against the third parties involved in the collision, the suit states.

However, Liberty Mutual never pursued the third-party claim, the complaint says. It also failed to remit payment to James Bienvenu until Nov. 18, 2010, according to the complaint. Even then, the $6,042.78 Liberty Mutual paid to James Bienvenu was not nearly enough to cover the costs he incurred, he claims.

“Plaintiff will show that on or about June 10, 2009, his 2005 Volkswagon had a fair market value of no less than $16,255, that plaintiff incurred towing charges and storage fees that have not been reimbursed by Liberty Mutual, that plaintiff paid Liberty Mutual insurance premiums for many months after June 10, 2009, all of which far exceed the partial payment of $6,042.78 received by plaintiff from Liberty Mutual,” the suit states.

James Bienvenu alleges breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and violations of the Texas Insurance Code against Liberty Mutual.

He is seeking unspecified damages, plus costs, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney’s fees, statutory damages, treble damages and other relief the court deems just.

He will be represented by Dan C. Kelley of Hoffman Kelley in Austin.

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

Case No. D194-384

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