Hurricane Ike trial ends in win for National Lloyds Insurance

David Yates Nov. 20, 2014, 12:57pm

At the conclusion of a five-day trial, a Jefferson County cleared National Lloyds Insurance Co. of any wrongdoing in its handling of a policy claim following Hurricane Ike in 2008.

Plaintiff Preston Thibodeaux filed suit against National Lloyds on Jan. 29, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court, alleging the company did not fully compensate him for damages to his home caused by the storm.

Following a mistrial three weeks ago, the case went to trial a second time on Nov. 12.

According to the charge of the court, filed Wednesday, jurors answered “no” when asked if National Lloyds failed to comply with the terms of the insurance policy issued to Thibodeaux.

The jury further found that both National Lloyds and Compass Adjusting Services, the company that adjusted Thibodeaux’s claim, did not:

- Misrepresent the coverage of the policy;

- Fail to attempt in good faith to effectuate a prompt and fair settlement;

- Fail to provide Thibodeaux a reasonable explanation of the legal basis in the policy for the insurer’s denial of the claim;

- Fail to affirm or deny coverage within a reasonable time; and

- Refuse to pay a claim without conducting a reasonable investigation.

On Monday, Thibodeaux, with tears in his eyes, told jurors he’s a disabled veteran and didn’t have the means to restore his home on his own. He told them he didn’t want to hire an attorney but fears he will end up on the street if the legal action fails.

According to a courthouse official, the previous trial ended in a mistrial after Thibodeaux continued to testify that his policy claim was denied due to racial bias.

The defense had successfully objected to his testimony but Thibodeaux continued to cite allegations of racism, prompting the defense to then call for a mistrial.

Thibodeaux claims hurricane winds damaged the roof of his Jefferson County home, causing the residence to suffer water damage.

He testified that his home was so damaged he had trouble getting around in the residence.

A chart of his damages shown to the jury showed he believed he was entitled to around $200,000 in damages.

Thibodeaux is represented by the Law Offices of Reginald McKamie in Houston.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is presiding over the case.

Case No. D185-838

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