A Jefferson County man has filed suit against Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, Mason Catastrophe Claim Services and three adjusters, alleging he was not paid money to which he was entitled after Hurricane Ike destroyed sections of his home.
When Wyron Wells' property at 1390 Pipkin in Beaumont sustained roof, water, wind and structural damages on Sept. 13 during Hurricane Ike, he submitted a claim to TWIA, which had insured their property, according to the complaint filed Feb. 24 in Jefferson County District Court.
Wells requested TWIA cover the cost of repairs, the suit states.
However, TWIA denied Wells' claim for the repairs of his property, even though the policy provided coverage for losses, he claims.
It denied the repairs after assigning adjusters from Mason Catastrophe Claim Services – Charles Whitton and Luis 'Tony' Torres -- to adjust the claim.
TWIA told Wells it would not pay the full proceeds of the policy, although demand was made for it, which constitutes a breach of the insurance contract, the suit states.
"Defendants TWIA, Mason Catastrophe Claim Services, Whitton, Torres and Warren misrepresented to Plaintiff that the damage to the property was not covered under the policy, even though the damage was caused by a covered occurrence," the suit states.
TWIA, Mason Catastrophe Claim Services, Whitton, Torres and Warren also failed to make an attempt to settle Wells' claim in a fair manner, a violation of the Texas Insurance Code, unfair settlement practices, he claims.
The companies and the adjusters failed to explain the reason for their offer of an inadequate settlement, another violation of the Texas Insurance Code, according to the complaint.
TWIA, Mason Catastrophe Claim Services, Whitton, Torres and Warren failed to affirm or deny coverage of the claim within a reasonable time frame, the suit states.
They refused to fully compensate Wells, even though they did not conduct a reasonable investigation, which constitutes another violation of the Texas Unfair Competition and Unfair Practices Act, Wells alleges.
TWIA, Mason Catastrophe Claim Services, Whitton, Torres and Warren are liable for common law fraud because each of their representations contained facts they knew were false, according to the complaint.
They also committed numerous violations of the Texas Unfair Settlement Practices.
TWIA breached its contract with Wells by refusing to pay the policy, according to the suit.
Wells is seeking unspecified actual, treble, punitive and exemplary damages, plus attorney's fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.
Michael R. Ramsey and Gregory F. Cox of The Mostyn Law Firm in Beaumont and Rene M. Sigman and J. Steve Mostyn of The Mostyn Law Firm in Houston will be representing him.
The case has been assigned to Judge Gary Sanderson, 60th District Court.
Case No. B183-374