Hurricane Ike insurance trial restarts after mistrial

By David Yates | Nov 13, 2014

EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the plaintiff's attorney as Gregory Cox of the Mostyn Law Firm. The firm said Cox is not affiliated with the case. The retrial of a Hurricane Ike insurance case that ended in a mistrial
two weeks ago began Wednesday afternoon.

Court records show Preston Thibodeaux filed suit against National
Lloyds Insurance Co. on Jan. 29, 2010, in Jefferson County District Court,
alleging the company did fully compensate him after Hurricane Ike
struck on Sept. 12, 2008.  In his suit, Thibodeaux claims hurricane winds damaged the roof of his Jefferson County home, causing the residence to suffer water damage.

A notice of transfer shows that in April 2012 the case was transferred to a multidistrict litigation panel in the 11th District of Harris County prior to being remanded back to Beaumont for trial in October.

According to a courthouse official, the previous trial ended in a
mistrial after Thibodeaux continued to testify that his policy claim
was denied due to racial bias. The defense had successfully objected to his testimony but the plaintiff continued to cite allegations of racism, prompting the defense to then call for a mistrial. Thibodeaux is accusing National Lloyds of unfair settlement practices,
a violation of the Texas Insurance Code.

He will ask jurors for an award of actual, compensatory and exemplary
damages for alleged fraud.

Judge Milton Shuffield, 136th District Court, is presiding over the trial.

Case No. D185-838

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