United States District Court, S.D. Texas
OPINION ON SUMMARY JUDGMENT
N. Hughes, United States District Judge.
Ortiz owns a Mexican restaurant in Conroe, Texas. She leased
the restaurant's building from Javier Lugo. United States
Liability Insurance Group insured the building from January
26, 2016, to January 26, 2017. It ccvered casualties to the
property caused by windstorms and hailstorms with a $2, 500
deductible. On August 23, 2016, Lugo filed a claim with
United asserting that on May 26, 2016, a hailstorm
extensively damaged the building's roof and walls.
hired an adjuster, Frederic Jefferson of Wheeler-DeFusco
& Associates. He inspected the building on September
6' . He photographed the building and found: (a)
deterioration; (b) poor maintenance; (c) numerous gaps in the
roof; and (d) earlier repairs. He sent his photographs to
reviewing the pictures, United hired engineer Arun Parihar of
ProNet Group, Inc., to reinspect the restaurant. Parihar,
Jefferson, Lugo, and the restaurant manager, Rodolfo Avilez,
inspected the building on October 17th.
found no evidence consistent with wind or hail damage. He
discovered that the property suffered from long-term damage
caused by rot, cracked walls and ceilings, bad drainage, and
moisture stains - all existing before the storm. He also
included a weather report of conditions in Conroe since 2006.
This report shows no hailstorm within ten miles of the
restaurant on May 26' . The only hailstorms that occurred
were before United insured the building. United then notified
Ortiz that it found no covered damage.
and United contracted for coverage of her restaurant from
January 26, 2016, to January 26, 2017. The policy had a
condition requiring that Ortiz "promptly" notify
the insurer. Ortiz waited three months to file her claim.
United has no duty to cover the building if she fails to
comply with these terms.
Ortiz had reported this damage on time, it would not have
been covered. The building was old and poorly maintained. No.
evidence suggests that the damage she identifies is from wind
or hail. Rather, the adjuster found th: damage attributable
to rot, cracked walls and ceilings, and other seriously
deferred maintenance. United did not breach the policy.
cannot support her claim - because it is not true - that hail
was the cause of the restaurant's damage. United's
adjuster's report examined the asserted damage and
explained that it could not be attributed to hail, but rather
to profoundly poor maintenance. Ortiz advances no data to
support her claim that wind or hail damaged her restaurant
other than telling this court to perform a "quick,
general search online" for Conroe weather data. This
convenient, extrinsic information contradicts Ortiz's
without more, that a windstorm or hailstorm hit Conroe on May
26, 2016, Ortiz's claim fails. She has nothing more than
conclusory statements. She advances no data supporting her
position nor does she produce a single datum rebutting
United's report. Even if this court were to conduct an
extrinsic online se arch, and found data to support
Ortiz's claim that there was a windstorm or hailstorm on
May 26, 2016, in her part of Conroe, this would not support
the claimed losses. Hail in the surrounding areas does not
prove hail damage to her restaurant.
says United violated the Texas Insurance Code and the Texas
Deceptive Trade Practices Act when United refused to pay what
she asked. Texas law does not require payment of the
assured's claim; it requires that the insured reasonably
adhere to the ...