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Property Insurance Lawsuit for Church Remanded to State Court After Improper Federal Court Removal by State Farm

Our client, a church congregation, filed a claim of loss with State Farm Lloyds (“State Farm”), after  a wind and hail storm caused extensive damages to their church. The roof, windows, support screens, fellowship hall, baptismal, and class rooms, were all severely impacted by the hail storm that devastated Wharton County during January of last year.

State Farm assigned an individual adjuster to the case who after an incomplete and improper investigation denied hail and wind damage to the roofs, windows, and structure, and grossly undervaluing the damages he did accept. Based upon the adjuster’s representations, State Farm wrongfully delayed and denied payment.

After suit in state court joined both defendants, State Farm removed the case to Federal Court contending the adjuster, who conducted an inadequate investigation into the damages, should not be held liable. State Farm is not a resident of Texas, but the adjuster is, and State Farm claimed that the adjuster should not have been joined in the lawsuit.  Although the law is clear that individual adjusters, third party administrators and independent adjusting firms are all “persons” under the Texas Insurance Code and therefore legally liable for their misconduct, State Farm and many other insurance companies regularly seek to delay proceedings by improperly removing cases to federal court on the ground that the adjuster is not a proper defendant.

Applying long standing Texas law,the federal district court determined that State Farm’s removal was  without merit and remanded the case to state court in Wharton County.

If you have been subjected to actions by an insurance company and/or an adjuster that you feel were improper, contact our firm today for immediate support.

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