An Appeal From A Louisiana District Court Ruling

The following case was decided in Louisiana. It is relevant for two reasons. One is, Texas courts will look to other courts and their rulings for guidance on cases. The second reason, is the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is the Federal Court most Texas case will end up being appealed to when the case is in Federal Court.
The case is Stephen Williams; Vanessa Williams v. Allstate Indemnity Company. In this case the William’s home suffered a serious property damage loss during Hurricane Katrina. The William’s home was insured under a homeowners’ policy issued by Allstate that provided $123,000 in coverage for the primary structure, $12,300 in coverage for other structures, and $61,500 in coverage for the home’s contents.
The William’s reported the loss on August 31, 2005 and Allstate inspected the property on October 17, 2005 and ultimately paid the William’s a total of $134,762.43. These payments were made at various times until the last was paid in March 2007. The William’s sued for the full policy limits. The trial level court ruled for Allstate and this appeal was filed.
The 5th Circuit Appeals Court affirmed the trial court decision. In affirming the trial courts’ decision, the Court of Appeals got into discussions concerning the burden of proof.
The relevance of this case beyond what is discussed in the opening paragraph is realizing and understanding the burden of proof on a person who is filing a lawsuit. In an insurance case the requirements to prevail in a trial will vary from what is required in other types of lawsuits. It is important that an experienced Insurance Law Attorney is consulted for claims against insurance companies.

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