David Yates Jul. 8, 2015, 11:47am


A Beaumont judge recently granted an insurance company’s motion to partially abate a lawsuit alleging the insurer failed to honor its contractual obligations.

Constance Kemp filed a complaint against Progressive County Mutual Insurance in Jefferson County District Court on April 8, claiming liability in a May 2013 incident.

According to court documents, on May 16, 2013, Joseph Whitaker was an under-insured motorist who allegedly caused Kemp severe, painful and disabling injuries as a result of a collision.

Kemp alleges Progressive failed to pay her underinsured motorist benefits, accusing the company of breach of contract and bad faith.

However, on June 3 Progressive filed an unopposed motion for partial abatement, asserting it offered to settle Kemp’s claim for underinsured benefits but she refused the offer and filed suit instead, court records show.

Progressive requested the court abate the bad faith claims until the contract claim could be resolved – a request granted by Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, on the same day the motion was filed.

The lawsuit states that Whitaker failed to maintain control of his vehicle, keep a proper lookout, apply his brakes properly, and drive safely and attentively.

Kemp cites hospital and medical expenses in her claim along with physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, disfigurement, property damage and physical impairment.

She is alleging that Progressive has failed to reimburse her, and intends to show that she is entitled to recover insurance benefits from the defendant; that her policy specifically covers incidents of uninsured or under-insured motorists, as well as personal injury protection, bodily injury liability, property damage liability, and costs associated with rental for loss of vehicle use.

The plaintiff seeks: undisclosed exemplary and actual damages; pre- and post-judgment interest; attorney’s fees; expenses; and costs.

Kemp is represented by James Payne, Ronnie Turner Jr. and Jennifer Job of Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont.

Progressive is represented by Houston attorney Mark Lapidus of Lapidus Knudsen.

Jefferson County District Court case no. D-196974.

Organizations in this Story

Progressive Casualty
24624 Interstate 45
Spring, TX 77386

Provost Umphrey
490 Park St.
Beaumont, TX 77704

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