We’ve done a bit of talking before about the current situation in Texas where some people claim a “cottage industry” has sprung up in litigation against insurance companies.
While we’re no fans of the legal tactics taken by insurance companies like State Farm, we also think that tactics taken by certain people representing policy holders that run the gamut of pointless to greedy are unacceptable.
I ran across one such situation in the news that resolved itself back in 2011, but shows what some actions some lawyers will take to attempt to milk more money from insurance companies.
This particular lawsuit was one of many, and involved a homeowner who had submitted a claim to State Farm. State Farm then inspected her property, determined the damage and cut her check. Things seemed to be settled for the moment.
Unfortunately, 18 months later a lawsuit was filed against State Farm. The homeowner claimed that State Farm had “…failed to comply with its obligations under the policy, that it engaged in deceptive acts, and that it failed to conduct a reasonable investigation of the claim.”
Another 18 months passed and the case was taken to court.
A jury was selected and the trial ended after three days, with a verdict favoring State Farm. The jury agreed that State Farm had complied with their obligations listed under the insurance policy and it hadn’t engaged in any bad faith-related actions.
This was definitely a surprising turn of events considering State Farm’s reputation in legal matters.
However, the story continued in an unusual way.
One of the members of the jury sent a letter to the attorney representing the woman who had attempted to sue State Farm. His viewpoint on the matter was less than stellar.
One line from the letter particularly stood out. In reference to the lawsuit, he stated, “It also became obvious to me that the process had nothing to do with justice; it was simply a vehicle for you and your Law Firm to generate legal fees.”
The rest of the article goes on to summarize the situation (which seems to be ongoing) with the thousands of pending lawsuits in Texas, but ends on a slightly positive note, saying that the situation is not dire and not every lawyers, adjuster and contractor is out to earn an easy buck.
What do you think? Is there a way to keep policy holders from being taken advantage of by greedy lawyers, contractors or adjusters?