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USAA appealing Mostyn hail win, Hidalgo County court had entered $665K final judgment in March

Southeast Texas Record, July 10, 2017

By: David Yates

McALLEN – USAA Texas Lloyd’s is appealing a sizeable final judgment levied against it in a hail lawsuit brought through The Mostyn Law Firm.

Plaintiff John Griffith filed suit against USAA, AllCat Claims Service and two adjusters on April 19, 2014 in Hidalgo County District Court.

Following a trial in February, jurors awarded Griffith $1.8 million in damages. On March 14, a final judgment of more than $665,000 was entered.

In April, USAA moved for a new trial. Two months later, the company filed a notice of appeal on June 23, court records show.

As of July 10, no argument briefs are on file.

Case background

Griffith alleges his McAllen home was marred by the April 20, 2012 hailstorm that ravaged the area, causing roof and water damage to his property.

Defendants USAA’s and AllCat’s personnel failed to thoroughly review and properly oversee the work of their assigned adjusters, ultimately approving an improper adjustment and an inadequate, unfair settlement of Griffith’s claim, the suit states.

On Feb. 7, the jury found USAA failed to comply with its insurance policy with Griffith, awarding him $70,000 for his dwelling and $6,500 for other structures.

Jurors also found that both USAA and AllCat engaged in deceptive trade practices, awarding another $76,500 for the dwelling and other structures.

Furthermore, the jury found USAA and AllCat’s conduct was committed knowingly, awarding a total of $535,000 in damages.

For allegedly committing fraud, jurors hit USAA with $109,500 in damages.

Lastly, jurors found USAA acted with malice, awarding Griffith $800,000 in exemplary damages.

For their representation in the trial court, Mostyn Law was awarded $114,000 in fees, plus another $85,000 if the case is appealed all the way to the Supreme Court.

The final judgment decreed Griffith recover from USAA the sum of $665,045.29.

The biggest reduction in damages was exemplary damages, as the $800,000 jury award was slashed to $200,000.

Mostyn Law attorney Gregory Cox represents Griffith.

USAA is represented by attorneys Travis Plummer, Thomas E. Sanders, Wallace B. Jefferson, Melanie L. Fry and Rachel A. Ekery.

Cause No. C-4459-14-D