“We have seen a number of other lawsuits brought by lawyers, public adjusters, estimators, and others fighting with one another over referral fees, commissions, and estimate charges in these matters,” says Steven Badger, a Zelle LLP attorney who represents the insurance industry in hail- and-wind related litigation. “[T]he underlying lawsuits giving rise to these disputes are about lining the pockets of those who have found a way to inject themselves into the insurance claims process.”
“Then boilerplate lawsuits are drafted by non-lawyer staff and filed,” he continues. “No investigation of the underlying merit of the dispute is ever conducted by a real lawyer. Not surprisingly, a significant number of these lawsuits are entirely without merit and are either dismissed or settled for nuisance value.”
A law firm that was once king when it came to Texas storm litigation has been sued by a Hidalgo County attorney claiming he is owed money from the wave of lawsuits that were brought after hailstorms devastated the Rio Grande Valley six years ago.
While a father-son attorney duo isn’t particularly remarkable, a court records search shows that a Provost Umphrey lawyer has worked with his son, whose name was previously mentioned in a barratry scheme, on dozens of storm lawsuits throughout Texas.
A former attorney with offices in Arlington and McAllen, Texas was sentenced to five years in prison Friday after pleading guilty to insurance fraud and barratry, or litigation for profit, the Tarrant County district attorney’s office said.
When Hurricane Harvey made landfall in late August 2017, it was the first major hurricane to hit Texas since Hurricane Ike, nine years before, which spawned a wealth of litigation against carriers.
Most of these cases have been resolved by 2017, leaving many policyholder and carrier attorneys with extra time on their hands. Harvey litigation undoubtedly means these lawyers will be back in business, but several other significant events mean they now operate on a much different playing field than before.
HOUSTON – More than one type of storm hit Texas in August, as two law firms flooded courts with more than 200 weather-related lawsuits in an apparent rush to beat the state’s newest tort reform measure.