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Posts tagged "insurance dispute"

Jury Hands Down Verdict of $25.5 Million Against Aetna

An Oklahoma widower was awarded $25.5 million by a jury against Aetna health insurance because his wife, a cancer patient, was denied coverage by Aetna. The jury found that Aetna acted recklessly.

Are you still fighting your insurance carrier on your Hurricane Harvey claim?

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas on August 25, 2017 as a Category 4 Hurricane and caused widespread destruction throughout the greater Houston area and surrounding counties. Harvey's extreme wind speeds reached 130 mph or higher, produced record setting numbers of tornados and inches of rain fall throughout the Houston area, and caused Texas homes and businesses to suffer extensive damage and devastation.

State Farm Avoids Trial with Preliminary Agreement to Pay $250,000,000

One of the largest auto insurance companies has reached a $250 million preliminary settlement in a class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, alleges that State Farm violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO Act). The plaintiffs believe State Farm funneled money through several advocacy groups, which in turn kept donor lists anonymous, in order to elect a certain candidate to the Illinois Supreme Court in 2004.

Texas Supreme Court Weighs in on Post-Judgement Claims Against a Defendant's Insurer

Earlier this month, the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion in Great American Insurance Company v. Hamel clarifying the circumstances where an insurer who refuses to provide a defense to its insured may be held accountable for a judgment successfully obtained against its insured. In the underlying case, homeowners sued their builder for failing to construct their home in a good and workmanlike manner. They claimed that defects in workmanship caused water damage. The builder's insurance company refused to provide the builder with a defense to the homeowner's claims. Prior to trial, the homeowners and builder agreed, in effect, that if the homeowners were successful, then the homeowners would not seek to collect on the assets of the builder.

Houston Appellate Court Holds that Policy Misrepresentation Claims Need Not Be Severed from Underinsured Motorist Claims

In an opinion issued today, the Texas First Court of Appeals in Houston held that the trial judge in an underinsured motorist insurance case did not abuse his discretion by declining to sever and abate the plaintiff's claims under the Texas Insurance Code for misrepresentation of policy terms. This case is a significant development in an area where such "extra-contractual" claims have routinely be held to be severable.

Like a Good Neighbor

The Travis County DA's office has launched a criminal investigation of State Farm, the massive insurer, regarding its handling of thousands of insurance claims following Hurricane Ike. Now, Senator Rodney Ellis is demanding that the Texas Department of Insurance ("TDI") reopen its investigation of State Farm and its Texas subsidiary, State Farm Lloyds. "Given that law enforcement is now investigating State Farm for the exact same concerns I raised with you eleven months ago, this problem can no longer be ignored," wrote Senator Ellis in a letter to TDI's Commissioner, Eleanor Kitzman. Kitzman responded by drafting a public letter to the Texas Legislature. "Given the severity of the accusations made by the District Attorney, TDI is carefully considering its options for further regulatory action in this matter," wrote Kitzman.

Insurance Company Motto: Collect Premiums and Deny Claims

The Associated Press is reporting on a case arising out of a June 2010 auto crash that killed Kaitlynn Fisher. Progressive Insurance Company is now dealing with wide-spread negative publicity for its efforts to avoid paying policy benefits to the family of its insured, Kaitlynn Fisher, who died in the auto collision. The case stems from the June 2010 crash in which Fisher was killed in an auto collision with Ronald K. Hope III. According to an eyewitness at the scene, Hope ran a red light and caused the fatal collision. When Fisher's family made a claim with Hope's auto liability insurer, Nationwide, Hope's insurer did not dispute Hope's liability and paid the limits of Hope's policy to the Fisher family. Fisher's family then made a claim with their daughter's auto policy insurer, Progressive, for underinsured motorist coverage (UIM coverage). Progressive denied the claim.

Awards & Recognition

  • 2016-2017 Equal Access to Justice Champion

    The Equal Access to Justice Champions Program was started by the Houston Bar Association in 2006, to help ensure placement of Houston Volunteer Lawyers cases with pro bono volunteers. Originally, firms were tiered according to size, and firms within each tier committed to accept a certain number of pro bono cases from HVL each year for five years.

  • The National Trial Lawyers | Top 100 Trial Lawyers

    The National Trial Lawyers: Top 100 is an invitation-only organization composed of the premier trial lawyers from each state or region who meet stringent qualifications as civil plaintiff and/or criminal defense trial lawyers. Selection is based on a thorough multi-phase objective and uniformly applied process which includes peer nominations combined with third-party research.

  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum

    Established in 1993, the Million Dollar Advocates Forum (which includes the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum) is one of the most prestigious groups of trial lawyers in the United States. Membership is limited to attorneys who have won million and multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. There are over 4000 members throughout the country. Fewer than 1% of U.S. lawyers are members.

  • Recognized by Best Lawyers America | Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Aziz | 2017

    Recognition by Best Lawyers is based entirely on peer review. Their methodology is designed to capture, as accurately as possible, the consensus opinion of leading lawyers about the professional abilities of their colleagues within the same geographical area and legal practice area.

  • Lead Counsel Rated

    In order to earn the Lead Counsel Rating, an attorney must not only demonstrate significant legal experience, but must also receive multiple peer recommendations advocating his or her ability. This is a key component in the screening process.

  • Texas Super Lawyers | Texas Monthly

    Each year, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in Texas via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation. The Texas lawyers who receive the highest point totals during this selection process are further recognized in Texas Super Lawyers Top Lists.

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    The firm successfully represented nearly 100 victims who suffered personal injuries and damages to property from a large fire and explosion resulting in a settlement of more than $50 million. The firm served as lead lawyers on the steering committee in this litigation.

  • $80 Million Personal Injury Large Plant Explosion

    The firm successfully represented 270 plaintiffs', taking a lead role in the plaintiffs' steering committee, who suffered injuries in a large plant explosion resulting in a settlement of nearly $80 million.

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    The firm successfully represented 45 personal injury victims in a plant fire and explosion, serving on the plaintiffs' steering committee, concluding with a settlement of more than $50 million.

  • $22+ Million Personal Injury Work Site Accident

    The firm prevailed in a personal injury trial for a worksite injury client with the jury returning a verdict and resulting in a judgment of over $22 million for the firm's client.

  • $12 Million Auto Accident 18-Wheeler Collision

    The firm successfully achieved a $12 million settlement for the family of a man who died in an 18 wheeler collision.

  • $30 Million Personal Injury Burn Victims

    The firm prevailed on behalf of three burn victims with settlements totaling nearly $30 million.

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