FEDERAL COURT GRANTS SEVERAL MOTIONS TO REMAND FINDING ALLEGATIONS OF IMPROPER CLAIM HANDLING AGAINST ADJUSTERS SUFFICIENT TO STATE A CLAIM
In a series of decisions issued on January 8, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, McAllen Division, granted motions to remand in three separate cases that were removed to the court on the basis that the adjusters were improperly joined to defeat diversity. Rocha v. Geovera Specialty Ins. Co., 2014 WL 68648 (S.D.Tex., January 8, 2014), Garza v. Geovera Specialty Ins. Co., 2014 WL 66830 (S.D.Tex., January 8, 2014), and Palma v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, 2014 WL 66867 (S.D.Tex., January 8, 2014), all involved hail damage claims arising from the March and April 2012, hail storms in the Rio Grande Valley. The insurer’s removed the cases based on improper joinder of the adjusters and the insured moved to have the cases remanded to state court.
In granting the emotions to remand, the court discussed the factual allegations in each and observed that the insurer has a “heavy burden” of persuasion in establishing improper joinder as a basis for removal. And, after reviewing the allegations against the adjuster in each claim it found that the insureds’ petitions adequately stated claims against the adjusters for which recovery could be made. Accordingly, the insurer’s failed to meet their heavy burden and the cases were remanded.