Insurance Companies Always Want To Be In Federal Court

How about a church in Grand Prairie, Arlington, Weatherford, Fort Worth, or anywhere else in Texas who needs to sue an insurance company? How do they stay out of Federal Court? Answer is the same whether it is a church or not: Find an experienced Insurance Law Attorney.
The United States District Court, Southern District, Houston Division, recently had a case like this. The case was partialy decided on March 11, 2010, by Judge, Ewing Werlein, Jr. The style of the case is, New Bethlehem Missionary, Baptist Church v. Church Mutual Insurance Company and Eugene M. Poldrack.
New Bethlehem Missionary, Baptist Church (Church) sued Church Mutual Insurance Company (Mutual) and Poldrack for various violations of Texas Insurance Code, the Prompt Payment of Claims Act, and the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act. Mutual had filed papers requesting to invoke the insurance contract’s appraisal process. Church claimed that Mutual’s right to appraisal had been waived.
Mutual next did what all insurance companies will do if they can get away with it. They attempted to have the lawsuit removed from the State Court in which it had been filed, to the above Federal Court. An insurance company will always want to be in Federal Court because it is a more favorable place for them to fight. The opposite is true for people who find themselves in the position of having to sue an insurance company.
In this case, Church also sued the agent, Poldrack. An agent can be held responsible for his individual actions under the Texas Insurance Code. Mutual is a Wisconsin based corporation, thus not a Texas citizen under Texas laws, which is what allowed Mutual to attempt to have the case removed to Federal Court. However, the agent, Poldrack is a Texas citizen which is a fact that prevents the case from being removed to Federal Court.
Mutual essentially made two pleas to the Federal Court. The first was that Poldrack had not been served with legal papers and thus was not actually part of the lawsuit yet. The second reason was that Poldrack was not needed in the lawsuit and that Church, through its lawyers, was trying to circumvent the laws to prevent the case from being removed to Federal Court.
This case discussed some of the law related to the assertions of Mutual, which some may find interesting reading, but eventually ruled against Mutual, and ordered the case back to the State Court for further litigation.
It cannot be emphasized enough, the importance to people, including churches and other businesses, who find themselves having to sue an insurance company to be able to pursue the lawsuit in State Court rather than Federal Court. Good legal advice is vital to accomplishing this desired end.

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