United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Kenneth M. Hoyt United States District Judge
before the Court is the defendant's, Allstate Vehicle and
Property Insurance Company (Allstate) motion for summary
judgment (Dkt. No. 11), the plaintiffs', Corinne and
Lester Copeland (the “Copelands”) response in
opposition to the motion (Dkt. No. 14), and Allstate's
reply in support of its motion (Dkt. No. 16). After carefully
considering Allstate's motion, the Copelands'
response and Allstate's reply, the Court concludes that
the motion should be GRANTED.
10, 2017, the Copelands reported a claim to Allstate
regarding hail storm damage to their roof. Subsequently, on
July 13, 2017, Allstate had the property inspected and no
hail damage was found. On July 18, 2017, at the request at
the Copelands, Allstate re-inspected the roof. Again, no
storm damage was found. On July 26, 2017, at the request of
the Copelands, a third inspection was completed. During this
inspection minimal damage to the gutters and downspouts and a
window was found. However, the overall damages amount was
below the Copelands' deductible. Allstate notified the
Copelands that the loss did not exceed the deductible and
that the claim would be closed.
August 28, 2017, the Plaintiffs reported wind damages to the
roof caused by hurricane Harvey. On September 15, 2017, the
property was inspected. The amount of damages claimed was
found to be below the deductible. Subsequently, at the
Copelands' request the property was inspected again, but
this time with their roofing contractor present. During this
inspection damages were identified and appraised. However,
the amount of damages was found to be below the deductible.
October 12, 2018, the Copelands brought a state action
against Allstate for breach of contract and several
extra-contractual claims. Subsequently, the case was removed
to this Court. On July 15, 2019, Allstate retained HAAG
Engineering to inspect the property for hail and wind damage.
The report was filed along with the motion for summary
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorizes summary
judgment against a party who fails to make a sufficient
showing of the existence of an element essential to the
party's case and on which that party bears the burden at
trial. See Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317,
322 (1986); Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d
1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994) (en banc). The movant bears the
initial burden of “informing the district court of the
basis for its motion” and identifying those portions of
the record “which it believes demonstrate the absence
of a genuine issue of material fact.” Celotex,
477 U.S. at 323; see also Martinez v. Schlumber,
Ltd., 338 F.3d 407, 411 (5th Cir. 2003). Summary
judgment is appropriate where “the pleadings, the
discovery and disclosure materials on file, and any
affidavits show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the movant is entitled to judgment as
a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c).
movant meets its burden, the burden then shifts to the
nonmovant to “go beyond the pleadings and designate
specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for
trial.” Stults v. Conoco, Inc., 76 F.3d 651,
656 (5th Cir. 1996) (citing Tubacex, Inc. v. M/V
Risan, 45 F.3d 951, 954 (5th Cir. 1995);
Little, 37 F.3d at 1075). “To meet this
burden, the nonmovant must ‘identify specific evidence
in the record and articulate the ‘precise manner'
in which that evidence support[s] [its] claim[s].'”
Stults, 76 F.3d at 656 (citing Forsyth v.
Barr, 19 F.3d 1527, 1537 (5th Cir.), cert.
denied, 513 U.S. 871, 115 S.Ct. 195, 130 L.Ed.2d 127
(1994)). It may not satisfy its burden “with some
metaphysical doubt as to the material facts, by conclusory
allegations, by unsubstantiated assertions, or by only a
scintilla of evidence.” Little, 37 F.3d at
1075 (internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
Instead, it “must set forth specific facts showing the
existence of a ‘genuine' issue concerning every
essential component of its case.” Am. Eagle
Airlines, Inc. v. Air Line Pilots Ass'n, Intern.,
343 F.3d 401, 405 (5th Cir. 2003) (citing Morris v. Covan
World Wide Moving, Inc., 144 F.3d 377, 380 (5th Cir.
fact is material only if its resolution would affect the
outcome of the action, . . . and an issue is genuine only
‘if the evidence is sufficient for a reasonable jury to
return a verdict for the [nonmovant].'” Wiley
v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 585 F.3d 206, 210 (5th
Cir. 2009) (internal citations omitted). When determining
whether a genuine issue of material fact has been
established, a reviewing court is required to construe
“all facts and inferences . . . in the light most
favorable to the [nonmovant].” Boudreaux v. Swift
Transp. Co., Inc., 402 F.3d 536, 540 (5th Cir. 2005)
(citing Armstrong v. Am. Home Shield Corp., 333 F.3d
566, 568 (5th Cir. 2003)). Likewise, all “factual
controversies [are to be resolved] in favor of the
[nonmovant], but only where there is an actual controversy,
that is, when both parties have submitted evidence of
contradictory facts.” Boudreaux, 402 F.3d at
540 (citing Little, 37 F.3d at 1075 (emphasis
omitted)). Nonetheless, a reviewing court is not permitted to
“weigh the evidence or evaluate the credibility of
witnesses.” Boudreaux, 402 F.3d at 540
(quoting Morris, 144 F.3d at 380). Thus,
“[t]he appropriate inquiry [on summary judgment] is
‘whether the evidence presents a sufficient
disagreement to require submission to a jury or whether it is
so one-sided that one party must prevail as a matter of
law.'” Septimus v. Univ. of Hous., 399
F.3d 601, 609 (5th Cir. 2005) (quoting Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 251 - 52 (1986)).
case arises from two distinct insurance claims, the first, a
claim for hail storm damage and, the second, a claim for
hurricane Harvey wind damage. The Copelands brought this
action against Allstate for breach of contract and several
extra-contractual claims. Upon examination of the record it
appears that no ...