TWIA Ignores Own Experts in City of Galveston and League City Court Cases

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The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is refusing to pay judgments made by independent appraisers in court cases relating to Hurricane Ike — Mostyn Law comments.

Both sides agreed to this process. They are refusing to pay lawful judgements and TWIA should be required to meet its legal obligations, just like everybody else.

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) is ignoring the findings of its own experts in a lawsuit brought by the City of Galveston.

The government organization is refusing to accept the decision of independent appraisers to pay $14 million relating to damage from Hurricane Ike, according to court documents. The appraisers were hired by TWIA and Galveston and spent 15 months inspecting various claims. Ultimately, a mediator decided that TWIA should pay $13.97 million within a five day window. After two weeks, the organization had still failed to pay.

“Both sides agreed to this process,” said Houston attorney Steve Mostyn. “They are refusing to pay lawful judgments and TWIA should be required to meet its legal obligations, just like everybody else.”

TWIA is refusing to pay a similar judgment of $3.5 million to League City, which also experienced substantial damage to government buildings and property as a result of Hurricane Ike, according to the Houston Chronicle. The government insurer of last resort has not yet offered an explanation for their refusal to pay. TWIA was created by the state legislature in the 1970s to provide insurance to coastal homeowners and others that could not obtain basic coverage from private insurers.

“TWIA is supposed to protect millions of Texans along the coast,” Mostyn said. “Their refusal to fulfill even basic requirements is disheartening and scary for many homeowners. We need them to do the right thing and make these people whole again. Until they do, entire communities will continue to stagnate and remain in desperate need of repair.”

The Galveston case is being handled by the Mostyn Law and state representative Craig Eiland. After Galveston and League City contested the payout amounts TWIA was willing to offer, the government organization invoked an appraisal clause, which resulted in the final judgments, court documents show. Damage to Galveston’s City Hall alone is $3.6 million. In order to invalidate the judgments in court, TWIA will have to prove the claims were fraudulent.

The attorneys in both cases are hopeful they can come to an agreement with TWIA. Independent appraisers in these cases have routinely decided against the state insurer on Hurricane Ike cases, according to the Houston Chronicle. Though continued litigation damages the future prospect of these communities, Mostyn and Eiland hope a quick resolution will be reached.

Sources:
Cause No. 12-CV-2011; City of Galveston v. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association; In the 405thJudicial District Court of Galveston County, Texas
Cause No. 12-CV-0053; League City v. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association; In the 10th Judicial District Court of Galveston County, Texas
http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Windstorm-agency-snubs-own-experts-4999941.php (November 22, 2013)

Go to http://www.MostynLaw.com for more information about the Mostyn Law.

About Mostyn Law
Based in Houston, Texas, Mostyn Law was established in 1999 by Steve Mostyn. Mostyn Law has earned its reputation by tirelessly standing up for the rights of ordinary people who have been treated unfairly by insurers, injured by defective products, or suffered personal injury. Mostyn Law has 125 employees in its offices in Houston, Beaumont, Austin, and Galveston.

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Jeff Rotkoff
Mostyn Law
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