Insurance company sued over alleged improper claim adjustment for hurricane damage

By Chelsea Partington | Jul 21, 2014

NEW ORLEANS – A man is suing his insurance company for allegedly failing to adjust his property damage claim to the appropriate amount following Hurricane Isaac.

Robert L. Green filed suit against Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court on March 19.

Green claims that he holds an insurance policy number issued by Lighthouse Property Insurance, which insures property owned by Green located at 1826 Tennessee St. in New Orleans.

After Hurricane Isaac struck southeast Louisiana on Aug. 29, 2012, Green submitted a claim to Lighthouse against the policy for damage incurred during the storm. According to the suit, the policy provides coverage for loss or damage caused by wind and/or hail.

In response to Green's claim, Lighthouse allegedly assigned an adjuster to investigate and approve or disapprove the claim.

Green asserts that the adjuster did not spend sufficient time at the Tennessee Street property and could not have properly evaluated the source and extent of the damage. The suit states that the adjuster's estimation for damages was $7,900 according to the Lighthouse report dated Sept. 4, 2012. An alleged re-inspection report from Lighthouse dated June 20, 2013 estimates damages in the amount of $23,000.

According to an evaluation submitted by Gulfcoast Estimating Services, Green's damages are stated to have surpassed $71,000.

Green claims that due to Lighthouse's actions, he has been unable to completely repair the damages to his property. This has allegedly resulted in further property damage due to exposure.

In addition to these assertions, Green claims that Lighthouse knowingly neglected to make payment for the proper amount after receiving a satisfactory proof of loss.

The defendant is accused of breach of contract, bad faith claims handling, negligent claims handling, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing, non-prompt payment, negligent misrepresentation and failure to abide by relevant Louisiana statutes and civil codes.

The plaintiff is seeking damages in the amount of the loss, as well as 50 percent of the difference between the amount paid and the amount found to be due as well as attorney's fees, costs and interest. Additionally, the plaintiff is pursuing an amount not to exceed two times of the damages sustained, or $5,000, whichever is greater.

Green also seeks an unknown amount of damages for diminution in value of property, repair expenses, remediation expenses, increased expenses, the amount due under the policy not previously paid, costs to hire investigative and engineering firms, consequential damages as a natural result of the breach of contract, mental anguish, attorney's fees, prejudgment interest and costs of litigation.

Robert L. Green is being represented by J. Andrew Lewis Jr. of Speights & Worrich Law Firm.

The case has been assigned to Division A Judge Tiffany G. Chase.

Case No. 2014-02770.

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