Month: March 2016

wind and hailstorm

Dallas, Texas Wind and Hailstorm Property Damage Lawsuit

Our client, a local Dallas property owner, filed suit against American Economy Insurance Company and American States Insurance Company for grossly underestimating property damage claims caused by a wind and hailstorm and denying proper payment under Texas law.

May 2011 Texas Wind and Hailstorm

On May 24, 2011, a severe wind and hailstorm swept through Dallas County and caused significant property damage to the plaintiff’s roof systems, HVAC, windows, exterior, interior, ceilings, furnishings, and more. Upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff immediately filed an insurance claim for the damages sustained from wind and hail.

American Economy and American States assigned adjusters, consultants, and agents to assess the damage to the plaintiff’s property that were inadequately and improperly trained to handle this type of claim. The insurers assigned a local adjuster to the case that failed to engage consultants to objectively evaluate the damages to the property. The local adjuster refused to acknowledge obvious damages, and instead prepared two brief estimates of damages that: (1) grossly underestimated the extent and value of damages to the commercial property and (2) represented that there was no compensable hail damage to the properties. As a result, our client’s claim was denied and no payments were issued.

The Insurance Carriers Violated the Texas Insurance Code

Because the insurance carriers wrongfully denied our client’s claim, our client was forced to hire its own consultant to independently evaluate the property damage. The client’s consultant identified substantial damage far beyond what the insurance carriers acknowledged. Despite this, the insurance carriers still refused to pay for the necessary repairs to the property as required under the terms of the insurance policies and under Texas law.

Our client cites violations of the Texas Insurance Code, including failure to attempt to effectuate a prompt, fair and equitable settlement, failure to adopt and implement reasonable standards for prompt investigation of claims, and failure to provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim, among others.

Wind and Hailstorm Commercial Property Damage Lawyers

If your commercial insurance carrier has denied, delayed, underpaid, or disputed a wind and hail damage claim, you need an experienced team of commercial property insurance lawyers to help you get the compensation you deserve. The lawyers at Raizner Slania have extensive experience helping policyholders obtain their rightful payments from insurance companies. Contact us today for a free consultation.

just for men

Just For Men Injury Litigation

The hair care product Just For Men, manufactured by Combe, Inc., has supposedly cured men of gray hair since 1987, but an increasing number of men using the product experience serious adverse symptoms not adequately addressed on the product’s packaging and/or labeling.

Just For Men consumers report experiencing burns, scarring, allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock, skin depigmentation, other severe injuries. While the labeling recommends testing the product on a patch of skin for a period of 48 hours, consumers consider this self-test to be unrealistic because during the test the consumer should not wear long sleeves, bathe, sweat, or do anything that might disturb the test area.

What’s the Problem with Just For Men hair care products?

While many beauty and healthcare products come with the risk of an allergic reaction, Just For Men contains a chemical called p-Phenylenediamine or PPD. PPD is notorious for having a higher risk for adverse reactions and was notoriously even voted Allergen of the Year in 2006 by the American Contact Dermatitis Society.

While PPD can have adverse reactions in any consumer, some groups are more at risk than others. Studies have shown that African American men are at an increased risk for allergic reactions because of genetic sensitivities.

On March 1, 2016, nearly 200 consumers collectively filed suit against Combe, Inc. for the design, development, manufacture, testing, packaging, promotion, marketing, distribution, labeling, and sale of the Just For Men hair care product. The plaintiffs allege that the company failed to adequately provide safety information regarding the product’s use, and that the company engaged in misleading, fraudulent, unfair, and unlawful conduct.

Consumer product manufacturers have a responsibility to produce safe products for consumer use. The number of years a consumer product has been on the market does not necessarily illustrate a product’s safety. Many people are unaware of the adverse reactions caused by PPD, making it difficult to understand the scope of Just For Men side effects.

Nationwide Product Liability Attorney

If you or someone you love used Just For Men and experienced adverse effects, contact the experienced products liability attorneys at Raizner Slania. Your claim is important to us and we are dedicated to providing the help you need. We are handling cases on a contingency fee basis nationwide. Call us today for a free consultation.

hailstorm property damage

Hailstorm Property Damage Lawsuit Filed in Dallas County

Our client filed suit against Endurance American Specialty Insurance Company (Endurance) and Engle Martin & Associates Inc. after its commercial hailstorm property damage claim was underpaid.

October 2014 Dallas County Hailstorm Property Damage

On October 2, 2014, a wind and hailstorm caused significant property damage in Dallas County, Texas including damages to the plaintiff’s roof and interiors. Immediately upon discovering the damages, the plaintiff filed insurance claims under its policy for the damage caused by the storm.

The insurer of the property, Endurance American Specialty Insurance Company, assigned adjusters that were inadequate and improperly trained. Specifically, Endurance assigned the claim to an internal adjuster who is not licensed in the state of Texas. In turn, this adjuster reassigned the claim to Engle Martin & Associates, which again reassigned the claim to its own local adjuster. This adjuster was not equipped to handle this sort of claim and failed to perform a thorough investigation of the property. As a result of the substandard investigation, the plaintiff was paid only a small portion of its commercial property insurance claim, the rest of its claim was denied, and the claim was closed. The plaintiff requested that the damage be re-evaluated, but despite this request for a second look, again its damages were not acknowledged and its claim was denied.

Violation of Texas Insurance Law and Acting in Bad Faith

The insurance carrier failed to acknowledge obvious commercial property damage and underpaid large portions of our client’s claim for repairs under its insurance policy. Because of this, our client was forced to retain an attorney to prosecute its claim for insurance benefits. The insurance carrier continued to delay and/or deny payment for the necessary repairs, which has caused a significant negative economic impact on our client’s business, worry, distress, and continuing economic and physical damage.

Our client cites violations of the Texas Insurance Code including a failure to effectuate a prompt, fair, and equitable settlement of a claim, failure to provide a reasonable explanation for the denial of a claim, and refusal to pay a claim without a reasonable investigation, among others. Our client alleges that the insurance carrier acted in bad faith and violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices-Consumer Protection Act.

Dallas County Bad Faith Insurance Attorneys

If your commercial insurance carrier has acted in bad faith and denied, underpaid, delayed, or disputed your property damage claim, the attorneys at Raizner Slania can help. We have extensive experience helping policyholders obtain their rightful payments from insurance companies. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you don’t owe us anything unless we recover for you financially. Call us today for a free consultation.

hailstorm

Damaging Fort Worth Hailstorm

Texas residents are no strangers to major storms; however, last Thursday, March 17, 2016, Fort Worth experienced a severe wind and hailstorm that caused property damage to homes and businesses across the city.

Two separate storms with damaging hail ripped through eastern Parker County early Thursday morning around 4:00 a.m. Several hours later, another round of hail pelted the Fort Worth area, disrupting the morning commutes of many local residents. While meteorologists anticipated several storms in the area, the severity of the storms came as surprise with hail as big as tennis balls, or 2.5 inches in diameter.

Some areas of Forth Worth were subjected to severe flooding when hail clogged up street storm drains, and Fort Worth firefighters had to rescue a woman trapped in her car surrounded by waist-high water.

Within the first 12 hours after the storm, over 6,000 auto insurance claims had been filed due to hail damage; and, while it is too early tell how much hail damage will cost property owners, it’s safe to say it won’t be cheap.

For some Fort Worth residents, the March hailstorm was particularly damaging because many of their roofs were replaced just last year after another severe hailstorm hit the area.

Raizner Slania, Texas Hailstorm Lawyers

Hailstorms can cause devastating damage to real estate and businesses. Property damage can include roof, interior, exterior, HVAC, and other damages. In addition to property damage, your company could suffer loss of business during the time that it takes to get your building repaired. This might make you entitled to file both a commercial property insurance claim and a business interruption claim.

Insurance carriers receive tens of thousands of hail damage claims every year, and they know that most customers are unfamiliar with the specific terms of their policies and usually lack the knowledge to fight back when claims are denied. The attorneys at Raizner Slania have represented insurance companies in the past, giving us valuable insight into how they conduct business. Our experienced team of attorneys has helped home and business owners across the country get the compensation they deserve to repair properties damaged by forces outside their control.

If your commercial property insurance claim has been denied, underpaid, or delayed, we can help you get the payments due under your policy. When an insurance carrier acts in bad faith, you have a right to hire an attorney to help you with your claim. Contact the litigation professionals at Raizner Slania today to review your claim.

Commercial Insurance

Commercial Plaintiff Sues Insurance Provider in Independence, Kansas

Our client, the owner of a multi-tenant office building, filed suit against Seneca Insurance Company after its property damage claims were denied and not properly paid according to Kansas law.

February 2015 Freezing Temperatures Cause Water Damage

On February 5, 2015, our client suffered severe property damage when freezing temperatures caused the boiler system in its commercial structure to fail. Upon realizing the damages, the plaintiff immediately filed an insurance claim under its policy for the water damage caused by the failed boiler.

April 2015 Wind and Hailstorm

On April 20, 2015, a severe windstorm and hailstorm caused property damage to the roof system, HVAC, windows, exterior, interior, ceilings, furnishings, and more. Again, upon discovering the damage, the plaintiff immediately filed another property damage insurance claim.

The insurance carrier assigned agents and adjusters to assess the property damage who were not qualified to handle these types of commercial property claims. Our client asserts that the adjuster performed a haphazard inspection of the property and refused to acknowledge obvious visible damage. Throughout the claims process, the insurance carrier refused to provide answers to questions presented by the insured and also otherwise delayed the process. Because of the inadequate inspection of the property, both commercial insurance property damage claims were denied and no payments were issued.

The Insurance Carrier Acted in Bad Faith

The insurance carrier wrongfully denied our client’s property damage claims for repairs under the insurance policy. Because of this, our client was forced to hire its own consultant, at its own expense, to independently evaluate the property damage. Our client’s consultant identified substantial damage far beyond what the insurance carrier and/or adjusters acknowledged. Despite this, the insurance carrier still refused to pay for necessary repairs to the property as required under the terms of the insurance policy.

Our client asserts that Seneca Insurance breached its contract by refusing to comply with its obligation to pay policy benefits, and breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing by not fairly and in good faith processing its claim and by refusing to properly investigate and effectively denying insurance benefits.

Commercial Insurance Claims Attorneys

If your commercial insurance carrier has underpaid, denied, delayed, or disputed a property damage claim, the experienced insurance litigation attorneys at Raizner Slania can help. We handle all bad faith insurance litigation cases nationwide on a contingency fee basis, meaning you will not pay us anything unless we help you recover on your claim. Please contact us today to discuss your case.

Commercial Insurance

The Difference Between Commercial and Residential Insurance

While you may be familiar with your own residential insurance policy, it’s important to understand that not all insurance policies contain the same terms. Commercial insurance policies have a few key differences to keep in mind when filing a claim.

  1. There may be several named insured parties. On a residential policy, the named insured are usually a married couple or an individual, but on a commercial policy, any number of parties could be listed depending on the ownership structure of the business or property. It is not uncommon that disputes under a commercial insurance policy center on who and what was covered. Make sure you understand exactly who and what is covered under your commercial insurance policy.
  2. A commercial policy will generally include several types of liability insurance. In a residential policy, the insured are generally covered against claims for premises liability, but a business requires additional coverage for its operations, products, and operations liability.
  3. You can receive compensation for lost business income. If you run your business out of your home, your residential homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover lost business income. However, if an accident causes your business to shut down or interrupts your work, business interruption coverage can pay for the income you lose when you are unable to operate. The insured needs to be able to show the income it was generating both before and after the incident to receive compensation under its business interruption coverage.
  4. You may need different policies for multiple business Residential policies generally cover one property, but operating a business may involve several properties. While one policy can cover multiple properties, it will typically only do so if the properties have similar uses. If your business includes an office space and a factory as separate buildings, you may need different policies to adequately cover each.
  5. You can tailor your coverage to address specific risks. Residential insurance is much more standardized than commercial policies because businesses have a variety of different needs. You can choose coverage options to cover additional costs like valuable papers and records reproduction, meeting local ordinance codes when rebuilding, replacement of employees’ personal property, and more.
  6. While most residential policies are written by insurance companies admitted and fully licensed to conduct the business of insurance within the state, most commercial policies are now written by surplus lines insurers. Surplus lines insurers are not admitted in the state in which they are doing business, and are generally either loosely regulated or unregulated by the department of insurance. They are not backed by a state guarantee fund in the event they become insolvent, and often are just a fronting scheme for unauthorized offshore reinsurers who carry the real risk without any regulation or oversight. Buyers of commercial surplus lines insurance need to be very aware of what they are getting themselves into, and what the risks may be.

Raizner Slania Commercial Insurance Claims Attorneys

Commercial insurance claims are often much more complex than residential claims because the policies are often tailored to each business. Regardless of which coverage you choose for your commercial insurance, you have the right to hire an attorney to assist you with commercial insurance claims. The attorneys at Raizner Slania can examine your insurance policy to determine your available coverage and any payments you may be owed. If your commercial insurance claim has been denied, delayed, or undervalued, contact us today for a free consultation.