$1.45 Million Insurance Verdict Won by The Lanier Law Firm

Attorneys from The Lanier Law Firm helped an industrial manufacturer win a $1.45 million verdict against a Texas based insurance company after jurors found that the insurance broker violated the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act and Texas Insurance Code by misrepresenting the validity of an insurance policy.

Jurors issued the verdict on Nov. 14, 2011, following five days of trial. The award in favor of Hobbs Bonded Fibers could exceed $1.6 million based on the addition of prejudgment interest and court costs.

Hobbs manufactures a variety of specialty nonwoven products used in a variety of industries. Hobbs purchased an insurance policy in August 2008 to protect a number of its properties, including warehouses in Mexia, Texas. The Mexia property was burglarized in November 2008, with thieves stealing copper electrical components worth more than $850,000.

Hobbs filed a policy claim that was denied after the company’s insurer argued that the warehouse was not covered because it was unoccupied at the time of the theft. To support its argument, the insurer produced a policy application prepared by the insurance company that contained numerous mistakes and misrepresentations, which caused the policy to be invalid.

Attorneys from The Lanier Law Firm presented trial evidence that the policy application was never approved by Hobbs, and instead was signed by officials from the insurance company without Hobbs’ knowledge.

Based on the evidence, the jury found that the insurance company knowingly violated the Deceptive Trade Practices Act and the Texas Insurance Code, ordering the company to pay Hobbs more than $888,000 in actual damages, $250,000 in statutory damages, and more than $300,000 in attorneys’ fees.

The Lanier Law Firm team representing Hobbs included lead trial counsel Lawrence “Larry” Wilson, and firm attorneys Felicia Hubert, Kevin Parker and Dr. Robert Leone.

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