First Baptist of The place alleges the carrier violated state law with improper and untimely payments
NEW ORLEANS, April 5, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A LaPlace, Louisiana, the church filed a federal lawsuit alleging its insurer failed to adequately cover millions of dollars in property damage resulting from two devastating weather events last year, including Hurricane Ida. In the case, the lawyers of the New Orleans office of the Potts Law Firm LLP, representing the First Baptist Church of The placeallege that the Church Mutual Insurance Company of Merrill, Wis., violated state law requiring insurers to pay claims within 30 days of proof of loss. The company is foreign-owned, which led to the filing in federal court.
The church was first damaged in a April 2021 windstorm, followed by the even more devastating effects of Hurricane Ida at the end of August last year. The 38,000-square-foot facility suffered extensive wind and water damage to its roof and interior during Ida, forcing the 150-member congregation to continue holding makeshift worship services in its adjacent trading room, a practice that continues today. Church Mutual adjusters verified damages in both cases, but April’s initial damage payment wasn’t even received before Hurricane Ida, well outside the state’s deadline.
The lawsuit further alleges that Church Mutual was fully aware of the critical damage, but grossly underpaid the original claim, refused to pay an adequate amount to repair and repair the facility for losses incurred as a result of the hurricane. Ida and incorrectly claimed that much of the damage suffered during Ida was from the April storm.
In addition to the violation of deadlines, which subjects the company to an additional penalty of 50% of the total payment due, the lawsuit seeks damages for breach of contract and breach of duty against the insurer.
The place was among the Louisiana the communities hardest hit by Hurricane Ida, a Category 4 storm with disastrous winds of 150 mph, a tie for the fifth strongest hurricane to ever hit the continental United States. The storm also brought heavy rain and tornadoes, as well as flash and urban flooding and life-threatening storm surges along the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
The lawsuit, filed by the Potts Law Firm LLP, is The First Baptist Church of LaPlace c. Church Mutual Insurance Companyno. 2:22-cv-00884, filed in United States District for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
SOURCE Potts Law Firm