Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Williams v. Security Plan Fire Insurance Co.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Fifth Circuit

May 31, 2017

MARY WILLIAMS
v.
SECURITY PLAN FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY

         ON APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 738-900, DIVISION "I" HONORABLE NANCY A. MILLER, JUDGE PRESIDING

          COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, MARY WILLIAMS Joseph F. Lahatte, III.

          COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT, SECURITY PLAN FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY Thomas H. Huval.

          Panel composed of Fredericka Homberg Wicker, Marc E. Johnson, and Stephen J. Windhorst

         AMENDED IN PART; VACATED IN PART; REMANDED

         FHW

         MEJ

         SJW

          FREDERICKA HOMBERG WICKER JUDGE.

         Defendant, Security Plan Fire Insurance Company, appeals the trial court's calculation of penalties and attorneys' fees in a judgment against it arising out of plaintiffs' Hurricane Isaac claim. For the following reasons, we amend the trial court's award of statutory penalties, vacate that portion of the trial court judgment awarding attorneys' fees, and remand this matter to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing consistent with this opinion.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff, Mary Williams, filed suit against defendant-insurer, Security, alleging that her Security insurance policy provided coverage for property damages she alleged her home sustained during Hurricane Isaac in August 2012. Plaintiff further pled that Security handled her claim in bad faith and should be subject to penalties and attorney fees under La. R.S. 22:1973 and La. R.S. 22:1892, as well as consequential damages including mental anguish resulting from Security's breach of its duty to handle her claim in good faith.

         The matter proceeded to a bench trial on May 20, 2016. At trial, plaintiff testified that her home sustained roof damage as a result of Hurricane Isaac, which caused roof leaks into the interior of her home and required her to use pots and pans to collect the leaked water during any rainstorm.[1] She stated that her Security insurance agent inspected the home soon after Hurricane Isaac, and informed her that her property damage did not exceed her policy deductible. Plaintiff, an elderly woman, testified that she called Security thereafter and discussed the matter with customer service, indicating that she did not understand the deductible concept. She further testified that she intermittently reported her dissatisfaction concerning her claim to the insurance agents who came to her home to collect her monthly premium.[2]

         Anthony Odeh, a licensed public insurance adjuster and general contractor, testified that he performed repair work on plaintiff's home following a residential fire in the rear of the home less than two years after Hurricane Isaac. Upon his inspection, he noticed what appeared to be storm damage on her roof and asked plaintiff whether her home sustained storm damage. After plaintiff's daughter informed him that plaintiff did in fact make a roof claim following Hurricane Isaac that was denied, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.