Client sues sues Walters Agency insurance, alleging professional negligence

By Robbie Hargett | Oct 21, 2015

A Jefferson County man is suing a Beaumont insurance agency after a fire damaged property he thought was insured.

Michael Leduc filed a lawsuit Sept. 21 in Jefferson County District Court against Brent Walters, doing business as The Walters Agency, alleging negligence.

According to the complaint, Leduc had retained the Walters Agency to procure property insurance for all his properties and relied on the agency to inform him if there was an issue with the insurance of any of his properties. The Walters Agency submitted an application for insurance to Wellington Risk Insurance Agency on Jan. 27, 2014, for Leduc's property at 1210 Roberts St., Beaumont.

A policy for the house was issued by Companion Property and Casualty Insurance Company effective on the above date.

On Feb. 7, 2014, the suit says, Companion sent a letter to Leduc advising him a notice of cancellation for the policy on the house had been issued after inspection of the house and stating certain actions had to be taken and documentation be provided to Companion for a reinstatement to be considered.

The complaint states Leduc did not receive this letter but was informed of the letter by Whitney Wallace, a Walters Agency employee. Leduc made repairs and provided documentation of the corrected issues to Wallace, who then led Leduc to believe she had turned in his documentation to Companion and his property was still insured, the suit says.

The complaint alleges Wallace did not turn in his documentation to Companion, and Companion canceled Leduc's policy on the property in question on March 8, 2014, without Leduc's knowledge.

On April 29, 2014, a fire occurred at the Leduc property, causing extensive damage, which Leduc reported, thinking his property was still insured. Companion informed him his policy had been canceled.

The lawsuit alleges the defendant was negligent in failing to forward the plaintiff's documentation, failing to inform him that Companion had canceled the insurance on his property and other negligent acts or omissions.

Leduc seeks monetary relief of less than $100,000, including damages, penalties, costs, expenses, interest and attorney fees. He is represented by attorney Michael P. Duray of Vernon & Duray in Dallas.

Jefferson County District Court case number D-197579.

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