Claims For Bad Faith Insurance

Colleyville insurance lawyers handling bad faith claims need to read this U. S. Southern District, McAllen Division, opinion. The case is styled, Mark Dizdar, at al, vs. State Farm Lloyds, et al.
The claim arises from hail and storm damage sustained to Dizdar’s property on March 29, 2012. Shortly after the storm, Dizdar reported the claim to State Farm. Thereafter, Wallis inspected the property on behalf of State Farm on June 23, 2012, estimating the loss to the property at $1,096.76. On the same day, State Farm issued a check for $199.16, after applying depreciation and deductible.
On July 19, State Farm received an estimate from Dizdar’s contractor alleging that the damages totaled at least $24,000. Shortly thereafter, Dizdar requested a re-inspection of the property. On August 18, 2012, a subsequent inspection by Wallis resulted in an additional payment of $49.79. State Farm then closed the claim file.
On April 16, 2014, almost two years later, this lawsuit was filed alleging various violations of the insurance code. The case was removed to Federal Court. Dizdar invoked the appraisal provision in the insurance contract and the subsequent appraisal set the loss at $1,682.98 and Stat Farm paid an additional $590.03 on August 26, 2015.
State Farm filed for summary judgment.
In this opinion the court discussed the breach of contract claim and ruled there was no breach of the insurance contract holding that under Texas law there is no breach of contract based on there being a discrepancy between the initial estimate and the appraisal award.
As to the assertions for violations of Texas Insurance Code, Chapter 541, the court ruled that an insured’s bad faith claims must fail as a result of the Court’s resolution of the breach of contract claim in the insurer’s favor, unless the insured can demonstrate actions or omissions that caused an injury independent of those that would have resulted from the wrongful denial of the policy benefits.
To the extent Dizdar even sufficiently alleged extra-contractual claims in the original petition, the bad faith causes of action relate solely to State Farm’s investigation and handling of Dizdar’s policy claim. Dizdar does not dispute that these claims extend beyond the coverage dispute. Thus, far from providing evidence creating a genuine issue of material fact on these claims, Dizdar failed to even allege an action which would constitute an independent injury. Accordingly, the Court granted summary judgment in favor of State Farm.

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