Houston Jury Finds for Insurer in $22M Suit Over Hail Damage Claims

June 16, 2011

A jury in Houston, Texas, has found in favor of a property insurer in a lawsuit brought by a townhouse homeowners association over roof hail damage to 22 buildings.

Summer Hill Village Community Association sued Colony Insurance for $22 million for breach of contract in the insurer’s denial of coverage for roofs the association said were damaged by hail.

Colony maintained that the damage in question pre-dated the 2007 storm for which Summer Hill filed the hail damage claims. The jury agreed. The association’s claim was dismissed and it was ordered to pay Colony’s defense costs, according to the judgment rendered by the court.

Houston trial lawyers William Eggleston and John Michael Raborn of the litigation and appellate firm Eggleston & Briscoe, who represented the insurer, reported that during the 10-day trial, jurors heard from several witnesses who had inspected the roofs that covered 250 homes.

The jury found that although homeowners claimed their hail damage came from a 2007 storm, the actual damage pre-dated that storm. Trial evidence showed that Richmond, Va.-based Colony Insurance Colony Insurance inspected the 13-year-old roofs more than once at the request of the homeowners association.

The case is Summer Hill Village Community Association Inc. v. Colony Insurance Company, No. 2008-50184.

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