State Farm continues win streak against Mostyn, victorious following hail trial

By David Yates | May 23, 2016

State Farm continues to pile up its victories against Houston attorney Steve Mostyn and his firm, coming out on top in a recent hail trial in Dallas County.

Seeking up to $1 million in damages, plaintiffs Ana Bonilla and Juan Guzman filed suit against State Farm Lloyds on June 4, 2014, alleging the insurer underpaid a policy claim for damage caused by a hailstorm two years earlier.

The plaintiffs allege the storm struck on June 13, 2012, damaging homes and businesses throughout the area. They claimed the adjusters assigned to their claim “were improperly trained and failed to perform a thorough investigation,” the original petition states.

At trial, jurors were asked to determine whether State Farm failed to comply with the terms of the insurance policy, to which they answered: “No,” according to the jury charge, filed May 19.

The plaintiffs were asking jurors to award them compensatory damages and attorney’s fees.

For the past year now, the Record has reported on State Farm’s numerous litigious dealings with the Mostyn Law Firm.

Last November, State Farm defeated an attempt by Mostyn's firm to inflate the claim of Hidalgo County homeowners who'd already accepted a settlement for 2012 hail damage.

In January, State Farm triumphed over another Mostyn client trying to get more money for 2012 hail damage to her Dallas County home after she too had already accepted compensation.

More recently, on May 6 Mostyn found himself in a McAllen federal courtroom, forced to explain why he shouldn’t be sanctioned for bringing factually unsupported hail claims against State Farm.

In the complaint brought by Bonilla and Guzman, State Farm, as it has with several other hail claims, argued the plaintiffs’ policy claim had been settled therefore there was no breach of contract, court records show.

“Plaintiffs agreed on the scope of the State Farm estimate in this case, represented that repairs reflected in that estimate had been made and accepted full payment of replacement cost benefits,” a State Farm motion for summary judgment states, dated Jan. 13.

“Prior to filing this lawsuit, Plaintiffs never notified State Farm that they objected or in any way or contested State Farm’s payment of replacement cost benefits; indicated they disagreed with the amount of loss determined by State Farm; or made a claim for any other damages prior to filing this lawsuit.”

State Farm is represented in part by Dallas attorney Neil Rambin.

Case No. DC-14-05918

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