Hays County couple sues over allegedly botched repair job

Andrea Dearden Sep. 17, 2014, 2:31pm

A Hays County couple says Allstate Insurance and a San Marcos auto repair shop failed to properly handle damage done to their SUV. 

Micah and Ericka Harrison filed a lawsuit Aug. 15 in Jefferson County District Court against Allstate Insurance Co., Ralph Villapando, Michael J. Roche, Brian Garret, Service King No. 85 Collision Repair Center and Chris Thurston. 

The Harrisons say they purchased Allstate automobile insurance for their 2013 Ford Explorer through agent Chris Thurston. They say Thurston promised "quick, timely, properly adjusted and investigated" auto claims through Allstate.

According to the complaint, the Explorer was damaged Jan. 11 and the Harrisons immediately filed a claim through Allstate. The couple says the insurance company encouraged them to take the vehicle to Allstate "preferred service provider," Service King Repair Center in San Marcos. Defendant Michael J. Roche allegedly gave the Harrisons a written promise that "guarantees that the workmanship of covered repairs performed by [Service King] will meet auto repair standards." 

The Harrisons say they were told it would take 21 days and cost $10,000 to repair the damaged Explorer. On Feb. 14, the couple says Service King employees told them additional damage had been found that would cost an extra $8,000 and more time to fix.

On March 31, the Harrisons say Service King released the Explorer to them, saying the vehicle was fully repaired. The couple alleges the SUV had "residual scratches, paint overspray, improperly lined hinges, broken parts, paint runs, paint cracks and mismatched paint."

The Harrisons say they contacted Allstate several times over the next few weeks, explaining the problems to the insurer and asking for the company to help resolve the issues. After several alleged promises by adjusters Ralph Villapando and Brian Garrett to review the file and take a look at the car, the couple says Allstate eventually told them on April 28 that there was nothing the company could do. The Harrisons say they were told they would need to resolve the issue with Service King themselves. 

The Harrisons accuse the defendants of breach of contract, deceptive trade practices, breach of warrant services and negligent hiring. They seek the cost of repairs to the Explorer, its lost value, the cost of a rental car plus damages for mental anguish. 

Attorney E. Hart Green with Weller, Green Toups & Terrell LLP in Beaumont represents the Harrisons. They seek a jury trial. 

Jefferson County District Court case number: D195-994

This is a report on a civil lawsuit filed at Jefferson County District Court. The details in this report come from an original complaint filed by a plaintiff. Please note that a complaint represents an accusation by a private individual, not the government. It is not an indication of guilt and it represents only one side of the story.

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