HOUSTON – After reviewing several “voluminous” filings, a federal judge has rejected an insurance company’s bid to keep The Voss Law firm locked in litigation it suspects was brought on a plaintiff’s behalf without her knowledge, agreeing the firm’s behavior was “concerning” but ultimately not a matter for the court.
The Texas-based Voss Law Firm filed a storm suit on behalf of Raquel Rodriguez against State Farm Lloyds on Feb. 24, 2015, in Webb County District Court, seeking exemplary damages against the insurer.
The case was removed to federal court last April.
On May 19, State Farm filed a motion to show authority, asking the court to require Voss Law attorney Scott Hunziker, a managing partner at the firm, to appear and show his legal authority to prosecute the action on behalf of Rodriguez, court records show.
On June 1, Rodriguez’s counsel filed a motion for dismissal with prejudice, prompting a back and forth battle between the parties, with State Farm asserting Voss Law filed the motion to avoid discovery.
On Aug. 4 State Farm submitted a brief regarding the Voss Law Firm’s potential misconduct, which contained several exhibits, including court orders from other Voss cases and news articles produced by the Record about the law firm.
On Sept. 13, U.S. District Judge Marina Garcia Marmolejo granted the plaintiff’s motion for dismissal with prejudice, court records show.
“While the court agrees the allegations surrounding Voss’s behavior are concerning and not unfounded, the court declines to prolong this cause of action with additional discovery,” Marmolejo writes in her order.
“The issues revolving Voss’s alleged professional misconduct or fraudulent behavior are matters beyond the merits of this suit, which the court believes can be appropriately raised through other means.”
Marmolejo called the back and forth filings between the parties “voluminous.”
State Farm is represented by Mark Lindow and Jana Richard, attorneys for the San Antonio law firm Lindow Stephens Treat.
In the Southern District of Texas, case No. 5:15-cv-00085