HIDALGO COUNTY – In mid December, the Record reported that The Mostyn Law Firm ditched its hailstorm client only a month before the hearing of a State Farm Lloyds motion for summary judgment.
Recent court filings in Hidalgo County now show Mostyn Law is seeking to bail on another hailstorm client, even though a settlement offer has been on the table for several months.
Through firm founder Steve Mostyn and firm attorney Rene Sigman, plaintiff Patricia Zapata filed suit against State Farm Lloyds and an adjuster in October 2015, seeking up to $200,000 in damages.
If State Farm refused to cooperate in discovery and made “frivolous and unwarranted objections,” the Mostyn Law states in the petition that its fees could reach $1 million.
Zapata claimed her Edinburg home was damaged by a hailstorm on Feb. 11, 2014. The State Farm adjuster allegedly spent a “mere 20 minutes” inspecting the property and grossly undervalued the damage, determining Zapata’s damages were either not covered or below the policy deductible.
State Farm allegedly relied on the inadequate investigation and undervalued Zapata’s claim, the suit states.
Last spring, State farm offered to settle the claim for $8,500, which Zapata’s counsel accepted, court records show.
On Nov. 30, Mostyn Law filed an opposed motion to withdraw as counsel for Zapata, asserting a “substantial and unresolvable conflict regarding trial strategy exists and an inability to effectively communicate.”
The motion does not go into specifics or explain how a trial strategy conflict exists when a preliminary settlement agreement was previously reached.
On Dec. 29, State Farm filed a motion to enforce the settlement.
“On May 13, 2016, Plaintiff's counsel accepted the settlement offer on behalf of Plaintiff and stated drafting instructions would follow,” State Farm’s motion states. “To date, no drafting instructions have been received, and Plaintiff's counsel has now filed a Motion to Withdraw from representation of the Plaintiff.”
State farm is represented by Brian Chandler, attorney for the Houston law firm Ramey, Chandler, Quinn & Zito.
Cause No. C-5233-15-1