SHERMAN – A Missouri insurance company is suing a Dallas office building owner, alleging fraudulent insurance claims.
Columbia Mutual Insurance Company, of Columbia, Missouri, filed a lawsuit Jan. 21 in the Sherman Division of the Eastern Division of Texas against Bhakhtiari LLC, alleging fraud in an insurance coverage dispute.
Columbia issued a commercial insurance policy to Bhakhtiari from Dec. 31, 2014, to Dec. 31, 2015, covering commercial property that includes 14 buildings. On Oct. 29, 2015, the complaint states, Bhakhtiari submitted a notice for purported roof damage to all 14 buildings on the property from a May 9, 2015, storm.
Bhakhtiari alleges the required costs were $1,565,006.11 and also provided a repair estimate, according to the lawsuit, detailing the damage and required costs. Columbia then opened 14 separate claims.
According to the suit, there were no storm-created openings on any of the roofs. An independent expert also inspected the property and weather data, determining that the May 2015 storm did not cause the observed dents, but that an April 11, 2011, storm likely caused the dents, the suit says.
Columbia Mutual Insurance seeks a ruling that its policy does not provide coverage for the claimed damage and that is has no duty to pay Bhakhtiari under the policy. It is represented by attorneys Omar Galicia, Stephen A. Melendi and Donnie M. Apodaca, II of Tollefson Bradley Mitchel & Melendi LLP in Dallas.
Sherman Division of the Eastern Division of Texas Case number 4:15-cv-00065-ALM-CAN.