Property insurer sued over hurricane damaged house that later caught fire

By Louisiana Record reports | Oct 20, 2014

GRETNA – A homeowner whose house was allegedly damaged in Hurricane Isaac and later caught fire is suing her property insurer for not providing a proper appraisal and payments.

Noreen W. Johnson filed suit against Geovera Specialty Insurance Services Inc. in the 24th Judicial District Court on Aug. 20.

Johnson alleges that when Hurricane Isaac struck her home located at 2405 Paige Jeanette Drive in Harvey on Aug. 29, 2012 it received severe damage. The plaintiff contends that more than four months later on Jan. 9, 2013, the home caught fire and was severely damaged again. Johnson claims that although she reported the damage to Geovera Specialty Insurance Services Inc. and it originally hired an appraiser to assess the property damage, the appraiser later canceled. The plaintiff asserts this left her in an abandoned and precarious situation.

The defendant is accused of failing to pay for all damage under the policy, failing to include all damages in the estimate, failing to bring in qualified professionals, refusing to pay for price increases, overly depreciating the value of the property and its contents,  refusing to provide a depreciation schedule, failing to timely pay alternative and additional losses and expenses, failing to timely and properly communicate with the insured, breach of contract, negligence and violation of state law.

An unspecified amount in damages is sought for property damage, loss of use, depreciation, mold damage and remediation, cost of debris cleanup, penalties and attorney’s fees.

Johnson is represented by Joseph “Joey” F. LaHatte III of Metairie-based LaHatte Law Firm LLC.

The case has been assigned to Division N Judge Stephen D. Enright Jr.

Case no. 741-548.

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