Woman sues to recover damages from wreck in husband's work truck

By Kelly Holleran | May 23, 2011

A Beaumont woman would like her husband's employer's insurance company to reimburse her for injuries she sustained while riding in her husband's work truck.

Linda Simmons filed a lawsuit May 12 in Jefferson County District Court against Zurich American Insurance Company.

In her complaint, Simmons claims she rode in a vehicle her husband drove as part of his employment duties for Zachary Industrial on May 13, 2009.

Suddenly, Karah L. Fox, who failed to stop at a stop sign, hit the passenger side of the vehicle Ron Simmons' drove, according to the complaint.

Because of the collision, Linda Simmons has incurred medical costs; experienced physical pain, suffering, physical impairment, mental anguish and disfigurement and lost her earning capacity, the suit states.

Simmons blames Fox for causing the collision, saying she negligently failed to maintain a proper speed, failed to keep a proper lookout, failed to timely apply her brakes, failed to maintain control of her vehicle and failed to yield the right-of-way. In addition, Fox negligently failed to stop at a controlled intersection, the complaint says.

At the time of the collision, Linda Simmons' husband worked for Zachary Industrial, which had a business liability insurance policy through Zurich. The policy should have provided a provision for under insured motorists, protecting Zachary's workers lest they be involved in a collision with a driver without sufficient insurance coverage, according to the complaint.

However, Zurich denied Simmons' claim after she filed it, saying under insured motorist benefits were not covered under the policy, the suit states.

In her complaint, Simmons alleges breach of contract, violations of the Texas Insurance Code, violations of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and negligence against Zurich.

Simmons seeks treble, punitive and exemplary damages, plus attorneys' fees, costs, pre- and post-judgment interest and other relief the court deems just.

Keith Kebodeaux and Casey H. Hargroder of Kebodeaux and Hargroder in Beaumont will be representing her.

Judge Donald Floyd, 172nd District Court, has been assigned to the case.

Case No. E189-993

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