Texas Homeowners Claim

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Judge Boyle, issued an opinion on March 9, 2018, wherein the court denied the insurance company request for summary judgment.  The case is styled, Padilla v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company.

This dispute arises from a claim for insurance benefits under a homeowners’ policy.  The claim was with Allstate for wind and hail damage to Padilla’s property.  Allstate’s adjuster inspected the home, a shed roof, several windows, the back fence, the back deck, an AC unit cover, the pergola, and the carport.  The adjuster assessed damages at $19,132.24.  After subtracting the $9,789.70 deductible, recoverable depreciation of $801.61, and non-recoverable depreciation of $3,786.16, Allstate issued a check for $4,754.77.

Padilla filed sued for breach of contract and violations of the Texas Insurance Code.  Allstate caused the case to be removed to Federal Court and filed it’s motion for summary judgment.

Padilla, in his response, attached a copy of an estimate from a contractor, Clay Jordan, whom was independently hired to repair damage to their property.  Mr. Jordan estimated significantly higher costs to repair the shed roof, dwelling roof, and back porch than did the Allstate adjuster.

The differences between the Allstate adjuster’s estimate and the contractor for Padilla is a fact issue about the comparability of the estimates and about which estimate more accurately reflects the costs to repair the damages to Padilla’s property.

Summary judgment is proper if the movant shows there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law pursuant to Federal Rule of Procedure 56(a).  The substantive law identifies which facts are material, and only a dispute over facts that might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law will properly preclude summary judgment.  The Court must view the facts and inferences drawn from the facts in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion.  If a non-movant is unable to make such a showing, the court must grant summary judgment.  In this case, Padilla met his burden and the motion was denied.

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