S&R Settles First-Party Insurance Claim in Collapsed Retaining-Wall/Fence Case

September 2017

S&R Attorneys Mike Scanes and Ben Yelverton recently settled a claim for a local couple stuck holding the bag when their homeowners’ claim was denied. The clients had been preparing to sell their Woodway, Texas home when a storm caused a tree to fall on the retaining wall in their backyard, which caused the collapse of their retaining wall and their backyard to begin sliding into the creek behind their home. When the insurance company realized how much the damage would take to fix, they informed the clients that they would not be able to help beyond the policy limits for the retaining wall, which they argued was an “other structure” under the client’s homeowners’ policy. Worse, when a pre-suit demand was sent to the insurance company’s lawyers, they responded by a case that was almost identical to the client’s claim, that had been decided against the homeowners by the Houston Court of Appeals.

S&R Attorney immediately reached out to the law firm briefing the similar case to the Texas Supreme Court, and offered to assist with comprehensive research, which he provided, and briefing. After that law firm secured the reversal of the Houston Court of Appeals in favor of the homeowners in the first case, Ben deposed three consecutive adjusters who had handled the claim, and successfully defeated the insurance company’s motion for summary judgment in its entirety. The case then settled twenty days before trial for an amount that was confidential and sufficient to provide the clients with the funds they needed to repair their home.