The victories came in court, however, and the winner was an insurance company.
State Farm got tired of being harassed by legally thin hail-damage lawsuits and started fighting back. They wouldn't settle, they took their opponents to court, and they won: over and over again.
State Farm did lose its 17th case recently, involving water damage to a home foundation, but its record over the past year in hail-damage cases is perfect: 16 wins, no losses. And Steve Mostyn was the opponent defeated in multiple cases.
At a hearing in April, Mostyn was challenged to explain why he shouldn't be sanctioned for repeatedly bringing factually unsupported storm claims. In July, he lost three more hail-damage suits against State Farm.
In October, State Farm defeated Mostyn twice more, turning back two million-dollar claims, one in Randall County and one in Potter.
The two district judges involved, Judge John Board of the 181st District and Judge Dan Schaap of the 47th District, questioned whether Mostyn's cases even belonged in their courts.
“It has come to our attention,” they wrote to Mostyn, “that most, if not all, of the storm damage cases your firm has filed in Potter and Randall Counties have been assigned to the District Courts as opposed to the County Courts at Law. However, it is clear that many, if not the majority, of these cases fit within the jurisdiction of the County Courts at Law.”
They advised Mostyn that they intended “to reconsider the assignment of these cases to lessen the burden of the District Courts, and more importantly, the related expense to our Counties and the burden on the citizens of our Counties who are called upon to serve on our juries.”
The message that State Farm is sending out to opportunists like Mostyn? “We will . . . we will . . . rock you!”