Final judgment of $665K entered in Hidalgo County hail trial

By David Yates | Apr 4, 2017

McALLEN – A final judgment of more than $665,000 has been entered in a Hidalgo County hail lawsuit – a far cry from the $1.8 million in damages originally awarded by the jury.

Through the Mostyn Law Firm, plaintiff John Griffith filed suit against USAA Texas Lloyd’s, AllCat Claims Service and two adjusters on April 19, 2014 in Hidalgo County District Court.

The trial of the case took place in early February. The final judgment was entered a month later on March 14, court records show.

Griffith alleges his McAllen home was marred by the April 20, 2012 hailstorm that ravaged the area, causing roof and water damage to his property.

He submitted a policy claim and USAA assigned AllCat to adjust.

“The adjusters assigned to Plaintiff’s claim were improperly trained and failed to perform a thorough investigation of Plaintiff’s claim,” the suit states.

“Defendants USAA’s and AllCat’s personnel failed to thoroughly review and properly oversee the work of their assigned adjusters … ultimately approving an improper adjustment and an inadequate, unfair settlement of Plaintiff’s claim. As a result of this unreasonable investigation, Plaintiff was considerably underpaid.”

Court records show the two adjusters were non-suited before the case went to trial earlier this month.

On Feb. 7, the jury found USAA failed to comply with its insurance policy with Griffith, awarding him $70,000 for his dwelling and $6,500 for other structures, according to the charge of the court.

Jurors also found that both USAA and AllCat engaged in deceptive trade practices, awarding another $76,500 for the dwelling and other structures.

Furthermore, the jury found USAA and AllCat’s conduct was committed knowingly, awarding a total of $535,000 in damages.

For allegedly committing fraud, jurors hit USAA with $109,500 in damages.

Lastly, jurors found USAA acted with malice, awarding Griffith $800,000 in exemplary damages.

For their representation in the trial court, Mostyn Law was awarded $114,000 in fees, plus another $85,000 if the case is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

The final judgment decreed Griffith recover from USAA the sum of $665,045.29.

The biggest reduction in damages was exemplary damages, as the $800,000 jury award was slashed to $200,000.

Mostyn Law attorney Gregory Cox represents Griffith.

Cause No. C-4459-14-D

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