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.

Copeland v. Allstate Vehicle and Property Insurance Co.

United States District Court, S.D. Texas, Houston Division

January 16, 2020

LESTER COPELAND, CORINNE COPELAND, Plaintiffs,
v.
ALLSTATE VEHICLE AND PROPERTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          Kenneth M. Hoyt United States District Judge

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Pending 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.

         II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         On July 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.

         On 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.

         On 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 judgment.

         III.APPLICABLE LAW

         Summary Judgment Standard

         Rule 56 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).

         If the 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. 1998)).

         “A 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)).

         IV.ANALYSIS

         This 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 ...


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.