Farmers Insurance Exchange became the newest defendant in litigation between two Beaumont couples arguing over insurance proceeds from a hurricane claim.

On March 18, 2009, the Southeast Texas Record reported that plaintiffs William and Nicole Schroeder sued Bob and Linda Arnold for allegedly keeping the majority of the insurance claim for themselves, causing the property in question to become rundown, condemned and eventually demolished.

The Schroeders amended their petition on Nov. 15 to include Farmers, alleging the insurance company failed to settle the disputed claim in a fair manner.

The amended petition accuses Farmers of violations of the Texas Insurance Code.

Court records show the Schroeders entered into a contract for deed with the Arnolds, in which the Arnolds agreed to sell a property to the Schroeders for $37,700.

According to the complaint, the Schroeders paid the Arnolds monthly payments of $289.73 per month, which was to include taxes and insurance on the property,

The plaintiffs' suit alleges the Arnolds kept a majority of the insurance money after the claim against the Schroeders' residence was approved.

The suit claims that as a result of the insufficient amount of money received, the Schroeders could not repair their property. The city of Beaumont condemned the property and demolished it.

The Schroeders are seeking unspecified actual, consequential and punitive damages, plus attorney's fees and pre- and post-judgment interest.

Thomas P. Roebuck Jr. of Roebuck, Thomas, Roebuck and Adams in Beaumont represent them.

Judge Bob Wortham, 58th District Court, is presiding over the litigation.

Case No. A183-564

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