In Theodore Herring et al v. Homeowners of America Insurance Company et al, Harris County District Judge Mike Miller granted summary judgment in favor of an insurer in a Hurricane Ike case, dismissing all but the plaintiff’s claims for fraud and conspiracy.  Following Hurricane Ike, Homeowners of America Insurance Company (“HOAIC”) proceeded with adjustment of the claim, and issued payment in two checks along with a final claims decision on October 14, 2008.  There was no further contact from the insureds until suit was filed on January 21, 2011.  In the litigation, HOAIC moved for summary judgment based on its two-year contractual limitations period and the two year limitations provided by the Texas Insurance Code.  Plaintiffs – represented by the Mostyn Law Firm – responded with affidavits and check receipts indicating that they had not cashed the checks until January 7 and January 26, 2009.  These responses directly contradicted their prior verified interrogatory responses indicating that the checks had been received “on or about October 13, 2008.”  HOAIC argued that regardless of when the checks were issued or cashed, the insureds knew or should have known of its final claims decision on October 14, 2008.  Following oral argument, the Court granted summary judgment as to Plaintiff’s claims for breach of contract, common law bad faith, and violations of Texas Insurance Code sections 541 and 542.

Editor’s Note: Jeff Farrell and Christopher Avery of our firm had the privilege of representing HOAIC in this case. We congratulate HOAIC on this victory, appreciate its willingness to move for summary judgment, and recognize the invaluable assistance provided by the entire HOAIC team during briefing and argument of this motion.

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