Judge to decide if TWIA suits should be capped at actual damages

By The SE Texas Record | Jul 23, 2009

GALVESTON -- With already more than a thousand suits filed since Hurricane Ike made landfall last September, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is asking a Galveston judge to limit a plaintiff's award to actual damages.

According to an article in the Galveston Daily News, on July 20 TWIA asked Judge Susan Criss, 212th District Court, to give it immunity from paying attorneys' fees, penalties, interests and other expenses beyond actual damages in litigation alleging it acted in bad faith or maliciously in dealings with policyholders.

In Bakht Khattak vs. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, the insurer is seeking sovereign immunity, which means it can't be sued without its consent.

If Judge Criss grants sovereign immunity, her ruling could apply to any lawsuit filed against the insurer since Hurricane Ike.

TWIA is a coalition of private insurance companies who provide windstorm insurance in high risk areas.

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