HOUSTON - a Texas appellate court recently sided with a Texas couple in their long-running dispute with an insurance company over damage to their home from Hurricane Ike in 2008.
On April 7 the 14th Court of Appeals ruled that Candelario and Maria Fuentes are due $334,739.24 from State Farm Lloyds insurance company. The decision upheld a 2013 jury verdict for the couple in a case filed on their behalf by Houston-based Mostyn Law.
"This case should send a message to State Farm and other insurance companies that they cannot escape their obligation to pay legitimate claims when homeowners need help," said firm founder Steve Mostyn in a press release.
The Fuenteses filed their claim after Hurricane Ike sent a tree through their roof and inflicted water damage in at least three rooms. State Farm gave them a check for $4,988.63, for the damage, plus $350 for spoiled food, according to the press release.
After a trial in the 152nd District Court in Houston, jurors concluded that State Farm did not properly investigate the couple's insurance claim and failed to fairly compensate them for the damage, court records show.
The appellate court rejected all of State Farms' counter arguments, including the company's assertion that the Fuenteses and their lawyers acted in bad faith by demanding far more than the initial payout.
The court concluded that the couple's request for additional compensation was a legitimate attempt to resolve the matter.
"Having overruled all of State Farm's issues, we affirm the trial court's judgment," Justice Marc W. Brown wrote for the court's three-judge panel.
Appeals case No. 14-14-00824-CV