Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg
HOUSING & COMMUNITY SERVICES, INC. AND HCS 401, LLC D/B/A LANTANA SQUARE APARTMENTS, Appellants,
TEXAS WINDSTORM INSURANCE ASSOCIATION, Appellee.
appeal from the 319th District Court of Nueces County, Texas.
Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Rodriguez and Benavides
M. BENAVIDES, Justice
Housing and Community Services, Inc. and HCS 401, LLC d/b/a
Lantana Square Apartments (collectively HCS) appeal the trial
court's granting of summary judgment in favor of appellee
Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA) and ordering
that HCS take nothing in its lawsuit against TWIA. We affirm.
owns the Lantana Square Apartments ("the Lantana
property") in Corpus Christi. The Lantana property was
insured against wind and hail storm events through
TWIA. Specifically, it was insured by two TWIA
policies, which provided coverage through December 2012.
15, 2012, HCS sustained damages allegedly caused by a hail
storm to various buildings on the Lantana property covered
under both TWIA policies. On May 28, 2013, HCS filed two
separate but related claims (Claim numbers: C0183954 and
C0184052) with TWIA, claims related to the May 15, 2012
damages. On July 1, 2013, TWIA denied both claims on grounds
that HCS failed to fulfill its duty to file its claim with
TWIA within one year of the loss. The denial letters stated
that HCS may seek a onetime, 180-day extension to file its
claim upon a showing of "good cause" to the Texas
Commissioner of Insurance. On July 12, 2013, a representative
for HCS filed a request with the Texas Commissioner of
Insurance requesting an extension on the claim dates. On
August 23, 2013, the Texas Commissioner of Insurance denied
March 24, 2014, HCS filed suit against TWIA alleging claims
for wrongful denial of coverage under section 2210.575 of the
insurance code, see Tex. Ins. Code Ann. §
2210.575 (West, Westlaw through 2015 R.S.), and for
declaratory relief-specifically, that HCS's thirteen-day
lapse of filing its claims within exactly one year of the
requisite requirements of the policy did not bar it from
coverage under the policies, if TWIA was not prejudiced
pursuant to PAJ v. Hanover Insurance Company.
See 243 S.W.3d 639 (Tex. 2008). On September 3,
2014, HCS filed a motion for partial summary judgment arguing
that it was entitled to coverage under the policies because
the evidence conclusively showed that HCS "provided
proper notice under the TWIA policy; or in the alternative, .
. . TWIA was not prejudiced by this immaterial delay" of
answered, responded to HCS's motion for partial summary
judgment, and filed its own motion for traditional summary
judgment on grounds that the evidence conclusively showed
that HCS failed to meet the mandatory one-year, post-loss,
claim-filing deadline, having missed this deadline by
thirteen days. Furthermore, TWIA asserted in its motion that
chapter 2210 of the insurance code exclusively regulates
insurance policies issued by TWIA, including the two involved
in this case, and does not require TWIA to show prejudice if
a claimant fails to report its claim within the one-year
trial court granted TWIA's traditional motion for summary
judgment and ordered that HCS take nothing from its lawsuit
against TWIA. This appeal followed.
issue, HCS contends that the trial court erroneously granted
TWIA's motion for summary judgment and denied its own
motion for summary judgment.
Standard of Review
review the granting of a motion for summary judgment de novo.
Merriman v. XTO Energy, Inc., 381 S.W.3d 525, 527
(Tex. 2012). When the trial court does not specify the
grounds for its ruling, a summary judgment must be affirmed
if any of the grounds on which judgment is sought are
meritorious. Id. When both parties move for summary
judgment and the trial court grants one motion and denies the
other, we review all the ...