Latest News

Stormy Weather — Insured Sings the Burden of Proof Blues

December 3rd, 2018 By Eric S. Peabody

Insured’s Failure to Support Causation and Segregation with Evidence Results in Win for Carrier Insureds Richard and Linda Seim filed suit against their homeowners’ insurance carrier Allstate for damage to their home following a storm in August 2013. Seim v. Allstate Texas Lloyds, No. 02-16-00050-CV, 2018 WL 5832106, at *1 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth  Nov. 8, 2018, n.p.h.). Allstate had investigated and, despite finding some interior water damage to the home, had denied the claim because there was no evidence of
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November 12th, 2018 By David L. Plaut

A Foolish Consistency?  Cite Form Hobgoblins and the Texas Rules of Form Wayne Schiess, Senior Lecturer at the University of Texas Center for Legal Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy, welcomes the new edition of the Texas Rules of Form – The Greenbook as an improvement over previous editions.  See Schiess, The New Greenbook, 27 Austin Lawyer at 15 (November 2018).  Schiess notes the Texas Law Review editors in charge of the 14th edition were determined to improve The Greenbook and
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Determining the Reasonableness of Medical Charges – The Quest Continues

November 5th, 2018 By Sarah Scott

Texas Supreme Court Rules Government and Insurance Billing Rates are Discoverable for Determining “Reasonableness” of Hospital Charges to Individuals One of the biggest factors affecting the value of a personal-injury case is the amount of medical bills – hospital bills, in particular. To encourage hospitals to promptly and adequately treat accident victims who are uninsured, the Texas Legislature has granted hospitals a lien on any patient injured in “an accident that is attributed to the negligence of another person.” Tex.
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Adjuster in the UM/UIM Hot Seat? Houston Court of Appeals Says No

October 29th, 2018 By Sheila Tan

One of the more contentious battles in a UM/UIM case is the taking of the deposition of insurer’s corporate representative. The good news is that more and more Texas courts are acknowledging that the corporate representative’s deposition in a UM/UIM matter has no bearing on the issues of the tortfeasor’s liability and damages and “is not reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” We suspect that Plaintiffs’ lawyers desire to get insurance carrier representatives in the hot
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Federal Courts Sketch Roadmap for Chapter 542A Removals

October 22nd, 2018 By Eric S. Peabody

As many commentators have noted, the addition of Texas Insurance Code Chapter 542A—the so-called “Hailstorm Bill”—has substantially reduced the volume of weather-related lawsuits against insurance companies since September 2017. In addition to imposing strict timelines for pre-suit notice and inspections and curbing potential penalties and attorneys’ fees awards, Chapter 542A affects the parties to, and potential venue of, a lawsuit by allowing the carrier to assume any liability an “agent” might have to the claimant (with certain exceptions) for the
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Trial News

October 3rd, 2018 By Catherine Hanna

Congratulations to Sarah Scott and David Plaut on another win at trial!  The case – Barbara Hernandez v. Terry Williams – was venued in Williamson County, Texas and tried before Judge John McMaster.  Plaintiff suffered from Guillaume Barre Syndrome and was allegedly hyper-sensitive to physical sensation.  The accident occurred on Red Bud Road near Highway 79 in Georgetown, Texas.  Plaintiff claimed she had the right of way and argued Defendant was driving illegally in the shoulder.  The parties disputed who
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Pre-Suit Demands: Insured’s counsel must check all the boxes, but detail may still be vague.

September 26th, 2018 By Tara Mireur

Perrett v. Allstate Insurance Company, 2018 WL 2864132 (S.D. Tex. June 11, 2018) is the first case that scrutinizes whether or not a pre-suit notice properly complies with the new requirements of § 542A.003 of the Texas Insurance Code and therefore gives some guidance to attorneys about how strictly courts will enforce each statutory requirement. Section 542A.003 of the Texas Insurance Code provides that “not later than the 61st day before the date a claimant files an action to which
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Hanna & Plaut Named to Super Lawyers List for 2018

September 24th, 2018 By Catherine Hanna

Hanna & Plaut is proud to announce that Catherine and David have once again been selected to the 2018 Texas Super Lawyers list. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
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Menchaca won’t save your vague pleadings

August 6th, 2018 By Sarah Scott

The Fifth Circuit Rejects a plaintiff’s attempts to use Menchaca to keep extra-contractual claims alive A recent ruling from the Fifth Circuit should serve as a warning to enterprising attorneys seeking to recover on extra-contractual claims under the Texas Insurance Code. In Moore v. Allstate Texas Lloyd’s, plaintiff Glen Moore sued Allstate, his homeowners’ insurer, for alleged damage to his home arising from a storm. No. 17-10904, 2018 WL 3492818 (5th Cir. July 19, 2018).  After two inspections by an
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