Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Housing & Community Services, Inc. v. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association

Court of Appeals of Texas, Thirteenth District, Corpus Christi-Edinburg

March 2, 2017

HOUSING & COMMUNITY SERVICES, INC. AND HCS 401, LLC D/B/A LANTANA SQUARE APARTMENTS, Appellants,
v.
TEXAS WINDSTORM INSURANCE ASSOCIATION, Appellee.

         On appeal from the 319th District Court of Nueces County, Texas.

          Before Chief Justice Valdez and Justices Rodriguez and Benavides

          OPINION

          GINA M. BENAVIDES, Justice

         Appellants 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.

         I. Background

         HCS owns the Lantana Square Apartments ("the Lantana property") in Corpus Christi. The Lantana property was insured against wind and hail storm events through TWIA.[1] Specifically, it was insured by two TWIA policies, which provided coverage through December 2012.

         On May 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 HCS's requests.

         On 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 thirteen days.

         TWIA 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 period.

         The trial court granted TWIA's traditional motion for summary judgment and ordered that HCS take nothing from its lawsuit against TWIA. This appeal followed.

         II. Summary Judgment

         By one issue, HCS contends that the trial court erroneously granted TWIA's motion for summary judgment and denied its own motion for summary judgment.

         A. Standard of Review

         We 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.