Provost Umphrey lawyer working with storm attorney named in barratry scheme, dozens of insurers sued by father-son duo
By: David Yates
BEAUMONT – 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.
On June 22, Kent Livesay, an Edinburg attorney who made his living suing insurance companies, was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to insurance fraud and barratry – a scheme that involved illegally paying roofers and adjusters to drum up clients after a hailstorm strike.
During his sentencing, Livesay offered testimony naming three other Texas lawyers allegedly involved in the barratry scheme, one of which was Chad T. Wilson, a Houston-area attorney specializing in insurance litigation.
Wilson previously has said Livesay is “full of crap” and that he had “never spoken to that guy in my life.”
Court records show Chad Wilson has filed hundreds of lawsuits against insurance companies in Texas counties.
Since 2012, Chad Wilson has filed 225 lawsuits in Harris County, nearly all of them against insurance companies. The attorney has also filed 32 lawsuits against insurers in Dallas County.
In a lot of the cases, another law firm is present on the filings – the Provost Umphrey Law Firm in Beaumont. The PU attorney handling those cases is David Wilson, Chad Wilson’s father.
The senior Wilson has filed more than 100 lawsuits in Harris County, most of which are against insurers and in conjunction with his son. In Dallas County, David Wilson matched his son’s total, filing 32 suits against insurers.
Court records also show the father-son attorney combo worked on several storm cases together in Hidalgo County, arguably the birthplace of mass hailstorm litigation.
And while David Wilson’s name appears alongside his son’s on dozens of cases, the Beaumont trial lawyer said that he had “never heard” of Jorge Garcia until reading a July 19 Record article about his son.
When asked how he became involved in his son’s insurance litigation, David Wilson said Provost Umphrey “works with lawyers from all over the country” and that he specifically has been helping his son with insurance litigation since 2014.
“We (PU) have a lot of experience in storm litigation,” David Wilson said. “Plus, it’s fun to go to court with your son.”
PU became well acquainted with storm litigation after Hurricane Rita pummeled Southeast Texas in 2005, filing numerous suits on behalf of Jefferson County residents unhappy with their insurance payouts.
The firm was again a player following Hurricane Ike in 2008.