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Texas Decide Orders Houston Legal professional to Reimburse Insurer $137,000 for “Frivolous” Lawsuit

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A Texas choose has ordered a Houston plaintiffs’ legal professional to reimburse an insurer $137,000 for the authorized charges it expended to defend itself in opposition to a “frivolous” and “groundless” lawsuit that was filed “solely for the aim of harassment.”

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Harris County Civil Court docket Decide LaShawn A. Williams mentioned in a final judgment that Houston legal professional Eric B. Dick acted in dangerous religion when he filed a lawsuit in opposition to Customary Casualty Co. on behalf of property proprietor Carmen Aleman. Dick submitted no proof that the insurer owed protection and filed professional designations that had not been accepted and even reviewed by the purported “specialists” he named as witnesses, the choose’s order states.

“Eric B. Dick and the Dick Regulation Agency, PLLC obstructed the invention course of by failing to well timed tender every designated witness for deposition, forcing Customary to incur substantial expense in issuing and serving subpoenas, forcing Customary to incur prices to concern a number of deposition notices and having to depose every witness to find the falsity of the designations,” the ultimate judgment states.

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Dick informed the Claims Journal that the choose’s order is “100% political.” He mentioned Williams has “weaponized” the justice system and utilizing it in opposition to him as a result of she is a Democrat and he’s an elected Republican. Dick is an elected trustee on the Harris County Board of Schooling.

“That is how these corrupt judges do it,” Dick mentioned. “This is similar manner they’re doing it with Donald Trump.”

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Decide Williams signed the ultimate judgment in Aleman’s case on Oct. 17, however there was little public data about it till insurance coverage protection legal professional Steve Badger, a associate with the Zelle regulation agency in Dallas, posted a duplicate of it on his LinkedIn web page on Nov. 21. Badger was not concerned with the Aleman case, however courtroom data present that he has defended insurers in opposition to different lawsuits filed by Dick.

“That is one other instance of what occurs when attorneys attempt to apply the mass-torts mannequin to first-party property insurance coverage claims,” Badger mentioned in an e-mail. He mentioned Dick bumped into the identical bother that befell McClenny Moseley & Associates, the Houston regulation agency that opened a New Orleans workplace and filed hundreds of hurricane-damage lawsuits earlier than being sanctioned by federal judges and fined $2 million by the Louisiana Division of Insurance coverage.

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“These are usually not cookie cutter issues,” Badger mentioned. “Each matter is completely different. Consultants should formulate particular opinions as to every particular person matter. And naturally that should occur earlier than, reasonably than after, a lawsuit is filed.”

Dick is well-known within the Houston space due to his billboard ads, a lot of which use crude puns. Dick additionally is thought for utilizing aggressive ways to acquire new purchasers.

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Hawaii Information Now reported final month that the Hawaii Workplace of Disciplinary Counsel was investigating flyers that Dick’s regulation agency had distributed to acquire purchasers after the Maui wildfires. Chief Disciplinary Counsel Bradley Tamm informed the tv station that Dick is one in all 22 attorneys below investigation for improperly soliciting purchasers. Dick shouldn’t be licensed to follow regulation in Hawaii.

Dick has additionally been accused of violating marketing campaign finance legal guidelines. On Sept. 29, the Texas Elections Fee ordered him to pay a $10,000 civil penalty for failing to report $151,166.43 in marketing campaign expenditures throughout his 2022 marketing campaign for Harris County treasurer. The Elections Fee additionally fined Dick $30,000 in 2022 for mailers that falsely prompt Black Democrats had endorsed him and failing to precisely report marketing campaign expenditures throughout his unsuccessful 2015 marketing campaign for Houston Metropolis Council, the Houston Chronicle reported.

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Dick’s combat with Customary Casualty stems from a lawsuit he filed after the insurer denied Aleman’s hail-damage declare. The choose’s order states that Dick did not current any proof that protection was owed after the insurer filed a movement for abstract judgment.

Throughout discovery, Dick named 4 professional witnesses who would testify concerning the loss: Richard Gadrow, Billy Bray, Matt Morgan and Shiran Perera. The order says Gadrow, Bray and Morgan testified that they had been unaware that that they had been named as specialists. Perera, an engineer, testified that he had by no means inspected the property however did overview pictures that confirmed wind injury, not the hail injury that had been alleged.

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Dick mentioned in an interview that Gadrow was within the ultimate stage of a combat with most cancers when he testified and was delusional as a result of the most cancers had unfold into his mind. The opposite specialists mentioned he had a superb case in opposition to the insurer and injury must be coated, he mentioned.

Subjects
Lawsuits
Carriers
Legislation
Texas
Hawaii

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