The Texas Insurance Windstorm Association (TWIA) insured a hotel in Nueces County, Texas which had suffered wind/hail damage.  Plaintiff alleged that separate wind and hail events had occurred on two specific days during the policy period in 2015.  The parties agreed there was some storm damage to the structure, but disagreed as to whether it occurred during the policy period.

In Cause Number 2017DCV-4203-A in the 28th District Court, the insured was a California company that owned a hotel in Texas.  On cross-examination the owner of the Hotel testified that they did not have any maintenance records for the hotel.   Plaintiff called a roofing expert that testified he was paid $10,000 for only four hours of work.   Further, Plaintiff’s experts relied on photographs taken three years after the alleged storm events and after Hurricane Harvey.  During trial, Plaintiff’s counsel attempted to change his theory of the case and put the burden on TWIA to show that the damage did not occur in the policy period.  The Court rejected this new theory and submitted proper questions and instructions to the jury regarding the insured’s burden to prove when the damage occurred.  Todd Lipscomb of Loree and Lipscomb represented Plaintiff and tried the case.  David Salyer of McLeod, Alexander, Powel & Apffel, PC represented TWIA.  After a week of trial, the jury deliberated less than two hours and returned a defense verdict in TWIA’s favor on all issues.   Congratulations to TWIA and David Salyer for the win in what can be a difficult venue.

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