Two Jefferson County residents say their insurance company refused to pay some of their medical bills after they were struck by an under-insured driver.

Alejandro and Rafael Vargas filed a lawsuit Feb. 5 in Jefferson County District Court against Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. and adjuster Sherri Sotelo.

The Vargases claim they were driving on State Highway 73 when Gary Miguez failed to yield the right-of-way at a stop sign and slammed into them on Aug. 28, 2006.

At the time of the collision, Alejandro Vargas carried an automobile insurance policy with Allstate, which included underinsured motorist coverage, according to the complaint.

On Sept. 7, 2006, Alejandro Vargas notified Allstate of his claim and demanded through Sotelo that the company pay full policy limits, the suit states.

"Although presented with the same facts as stated herein, to wit: the Plaintiff had actual damages, it was a substantial impact, had serious injuries, and was entitled to sums in the way of pain and suffering; Defendants, via the actions of Sherri Sotelo, refused to consider some of the medical bills incurred by Plaintiff and failed, and continues to fail, to make a reasonable offer to settle Plaintiff's claim for damages, and give him the benefit of the bargain of his Under-insured Motorist coverage present in the attendant insurance policy," the complaint says.

The Vargases allege breach of contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, violations of the Texas Insurance Code and violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act against Allstate and Sotelo.

Because of the defendants' actions, the Vargeses claim they suffered loss of benefits and mental anguish.

They seek statutory, actual, treble and punitive damages, plus pre- and post-judgment interest, attorney's fees, costs and other relief the court deems just.

Jonathan C. Juhan of Beaumont will be representing them.
The case has been assigned to Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court.
Jefferson County District Court case number: E185-869.

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