The birthplace of mass hailstorm litigation in Texas, Hidalgo County is now home to a cluster of “falling object” lawsuits, which respectively seek up to $1 million in damages for chipped floor tiles.
Broken tile suits against insurers are nothing new and began popping up frequently in South Florida several years ago.
Presently in the Lone Star State, McAllen attorney J. Michael Moore filed a total of four “falling object” lawsuits in Hidalgo County on behalf of Red River residents on Nov. 13, court records show.
While the dates differ, all four lawsuits allege the property damage occurred “when an object fell onto Plaintiff’s tile flooring” and seek between $200,000 and $1 million in damages.
Three of the lawsuits are against State Farm and one named Allstate as a defendant.
All four lawsuits contend the plaintiffs requested the defendant insurance company cover the cost of repair, “including but not limited to, repair and/or replacement of the structures and contents located within the interior as a result of the falling object damages.”
“Defendant Insurance Company has wrongfully delayed and denied payment of the balance due to Plaintiff for the falling object damage property claim,” the suits state.
The suits further accuse the defendants of breach of contract, noncompliance with the Texas Insurance Code and breach of duty of good faith and fair dealing.
“As previously stated, the damages caused by the falling object damage event were not fully paid by Defendant Insurance Company and have not been properly addressed in the time since the covered loss event, causing further damages to the Plaintiff financially in terms of paying for covered losses when such obligation was that of Defendant Insurance Company, which has caused undue hardship and burden to Plaintiff,” the suits state.
“These damages are a direct result of Defendants’ mishandling of Plaintiff’s claim in violation of the laws set forth above.”
The attorney for the plaintiffs, Moore of the Moore Law Firm, had not returned a request for comment by the time this article was published.
The plaintiffs include Lorenzo and Socorro Rodriguez, Maria Mendoza and Francisco Cuevas, Narciso Rios and Ana Rodriguez, and Maria and Victor Flores.