Denton Hailstorms Cause an Estimated $300 Million in Damage

Jeffrey Raizner

Texas is known for severe hailstorms and tornadoes during the summer season. When these natural disasters strike a major building, the costs for repair can be astronomical. Having adequate insurance coverage on a commercial building is essential to have peace of mind when these storms come.

Last April in Denton, an estimated $300 million in damage was incurred due to softball-sized hail that rained down from multiple storm systems. About 24,000 vehicles and 12,000 structures were damaged by the storm according to the Insurance Council of Texas. Three small tornados were also seen touching down during this storm.

After an incident like this, it’s up to insurance companies to fairly inspect the damage and pay out on policies if the damage is covered. However, there are insurance companies that will act in bad faith and not properly pay out on policies. Some of the tactics we’ve seen include:

Administrative and bureaucratic delays Untrained adjusters Bogus claims that the damage was from wear and tear Improper delays in payment that are inconsistent with legal requirements

While bad insurance companies delay the process, businesses and landlords lose money. A condemned building due to hail damage can shutter a business completely, robbing people of their livelihood and robbing the community of an economic driver.

If you own a commercial building, church, apartment complex, or government building and your insurance company isn’t meeting their contractual responsibilities, that’s when you need an experienced commercial property insurance lawyer on your side. The lawyers at Doyle Raizner LLC have decades of experience and have gained millions of dollars for our clients. Make the insurance companies pay what you need. Call us today.

Hailstorms in Abilene Cause Massive Damage

Jeffrey Raizner

In June of this year, a major hail storm hit Abilene, Texas. The size of the hailstones that rained down ranged from golf ball to softball-sized hail. Here’s just some of the damage that was reported by the city:

Damage from fallen trees and power lines Hendrick Medical Center had approximately 20 broken windows and skylights Hotel Wooten’s foyer skylight was shattered Hardin-Simmons University had broken windows The Abilene Police suffered damage on 46 vehicles Fire Station 4 was shuttered due to the damage

When storms like this come through, roofing companies and insurance adjusters come in their wake. Hailstorms are big business for roofers and they are quick to give estimates. However, insurance companies will sometimes take the estimate of the roof repair alone and push that as the amount that they owe on the policy.

This doesn’t take into account things like damaged commercial air conditioning units, glazing, screens, siding, interior damage, and other factors. When a commercial building is damaged by hail, everything needs to be paid for, not just what the roofer will repair. We’ve even seen insurance companies try to force substandard materials and repair procedures to lower costs instead of paying the money necessary to do the job right.

If you own a commercial building that was damaged in a hailstorm, don’t hesitate to get skilled legal help on your side. Doyle Raizner LLC can bring in independent adjusters to inspect the damage and counter the offer given by the insurance companies. If they don’t accept, we can take them to court and get you the settlement your business needs to get back on its feet.

Historic Flooding in Phoenix Threatens Buildings

Jeffrey Raizner

Last week, the city of Phoenix and other locations in Arizona and California met with the remnants of Hurricane Norbert. The result in Phoenix has been compared by Mayor Alex Finter as a “mini-Katrina”. Flash flooding is very common in the desert when just a little rain falls, but the amount of rain that fell has shattered the all-time record since 1895.

The City of Phoenix has declared a state of emergency after the incident. Wind speeds of up to 40 mph combined with the force of the flooding caused extensive damage to structures and roads. I-10 is washed out in places due to mud and rock slides, snarling commercial trucking and halting business activity and schooling. Thousands are without power due to washed out power lines. At least one supermarket roof has collapsed and there are many reports of water entering structures. Two women are known to have died due to the flooding.

When historic storms like this happen, it can be a real nightmare to discover that your building insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. You may think that the desert is the last place to expect a flood, but actually flash flooding is very common in these regions. The dry desert soil becomes almost like stone from all the heat. When rain falls, the ground is quickly saturated and causes flooding. Even as little as an inch of rain in a short period can cause a flood to occur, let alone the 3 to 5 inches of rain that happened with this storm.

If you’re worried about whether your commercial policy can cover this amount of damage, or if you’re afraid that the insurance company will reject your claim, we can help. Our independent adjusters will go to your site and assess the damage so you can go to the insurance company with confidence. If they don’t accept the results, Doyle Raizner LLC can and will defend your

Lawsuit Begins Against Richardson Stevedoring and Street Brothers Ready Mix For Injuries Resulting From Unsafe Conditions Aboard Their Dredge Vessel

Jeffrey Raizner

Doyle Raizner LLP has filed a Jones Act and general maritime lawsuit against Richardson Stevedoring & Logistics, Inc, (“Richardson”) and Street Brothers Ready Mix (“Steet Brothers”), to collect legal debt and damages owed to the plaintiff due to the negligent and unseaworthy conditions aboard defendants’ vessel.

Our client, a diligent but overworked crewman, was employed aboard the defendants’ dredge vessel when he suffered a heart attack.  As owner and operator of the vessel, the defendants had the duty to keep the vessel in seaworthy condition.  “Unseaworthiness “ is a strict  liability action and occurs when a crewman is insured because of unsafe conditions, such as; unprotected workplaces, foreign substances on decks, and even what took place in this situation – an insufficient amount of crewman.

The undermanned condition aboard placed strenuous labor on the backs of a few seaman and is the legal cause of our client’s injuries. This condition could have been easily corrected or avoided and accordingly, Richardson is also being held accountable for its negligence and negligence per se under the Jones Act.

As is all too common with maritime injuries, our client was unable to immediately return to work. The law provides that seaman injured while at sea are entitled to maintenance and cure from their employers. Maintenance payment covers room and board expense until maximum recovery is reached, while cure is payment for medical expenses.  The defendants willfully ignored our client’s need to receive ongoing maintenance and cure despite plain indications of the necessity.

At the time of the our client’s injury, he was a healthy, able-bodied working man, but now suffers continuing physical impairment along with lost earnings that will continue into his future. But this plaintiff’s needs will be thoroughly litigated. For decades, Doyle Raizner LLP has been assisting individuals suffering catastrophic injuries, career-ending injuries, and wrongful death on all kinds of vessels across the world.

If you or a loved one is

Doyle Raizner Sues AIG Insurance Company For Worker’s Comp Bad Faith Following Improper Claims Handling Actions

Jeffrey Raizner

Doyle Raizner LLP has filed suit against AIG Insurance Company (“AIG”) and its assigned claims adjuster to collect damages following defendants’ wrongful acts in handling plaintiff’s claim for an on-the-job injury. Our client, a loyal and hard-working employee of Northrop Grumman Corporation, was adjusting a radar box when he twisted his back and experienced an immediate onset of pain. Unable to move, he had to call for assistance by using his cell phone.

A private examination conducted through our client’s own insurance led to a diagnosis of multiple disc herniations stemming from the work-related injury. In order to alleviate the painful condition, the physician offered a spinal discectomy to remove the herniation and treat related tears in the area.

However, upon receiving our clients workers’ compensation claim, AIG violated its duty of “good faith and fair dealing” to our client by doing all it could to delay and deny payment for treatment. The duty of good faith requires that AIG accept undisputed evidence regarding a claim and not ignore or refuse to weigh information favorable to the insured. Instead of acting as required, the assigned adjuster continually denied requests for surgery and forced our client to be examined by multiple Independent Medical Examiners (IME’s) – physicians employed by the insurance company.

Though a second IME confirmed the need for surgery, the adjuster filed a Notice of Claim Status form with the Industrial Commission of Arizona, which created the direct result of ceasing and denying all medical and income benefits.

After being subjected to significant economic impact, humiliation, worry, distress, and continuing physical pain, our client had no choice other than to undergo surgery using her own insurance. To add insult to injury, even after the defendants later accepted the claim for benefits, they did not reimburse her deductibles and medically related out-of -pocket expenses.

Instead, AIG began negotiating lower payments with the medical provider who conducted the back surgery and

Have you been involved in a jackknifing trucking accident?

Jeffrey Raizner

Jackknifing accidents can cause massive property damage, injuries, and loss of life. At a minimum, they cause traffic to back up for hours. That was the case in an accident a few weeks ago in Bellaire. Two rigs were involved in a jackknifing accident on the 610 West Loop. One of the rigs was carrying a very heavy load of concrete and jackknifed, spilling concrete onto the roadway. It took crews around 4 hours to clean up the mess and clear the wreckage. Every year there are tens of thousands of accidents involving commercial tractor-trailers. The victims of these accidents are frequently left with few options. The lawyers of the major trucking companies have money and experience on their side. That’s why it’s so important to have a skilled and experienced defense lawyer on your side when fighting for compensation. Jackknifing occurs under situations like:

Improper sudden braking Improper brake maintenance Braking on icy or slick roads Downshifting incorrectly Entering a curve the truck can’t handle

Proper brake maintenance is a major factor when investigating these cases. Commercial big rigs have three separate brake systems, one for the front wheels of the cab (steering axle), one for the rear wheels of the cab (drive axle), and one for the trailer (trailer axle). If any of these systems are faulty, or in some cases even bypassed, the trucking company would be liable for the accident and you could receive compensation in civil court. If you or a loved one have experienced injury due to a jackknifed trailer, know that this is not a normal situation. You need experienced legal help to deal with the lawyers of the trucking  company. That’s where the lawyers of Doyle Raizner LLC can help. We have secured compensation for many clients involved in big rig accidents and will fight diligently in your case. Call our offices for a free consultation.

Metro Mini Storage Liable To Nine Plaintiff-Customers After Fire Outbreak At A Commercial Storage Facility

Jeffrey Raizner

Doyle Raizner LLP has filed suit against Metro Mini Storage (“Metro”) for premises liability violations and actions of negligence surrounding an intentional and deliberate act of arson at the storage facility. Our nine clients were Metro’s customers and entrusted the company with their valuable personal property.

Metro marketed and promoted safe, secure, climate-controlled storage units, falsely representing a secure surrounding fence and site monitoring by an on-site guard and various types of surveillance. Accordingly, Metro entered into contracts with each plaintiff whereby it guaranteed these safekeeping initiatives in exchange for timely monthly payments.

October 27, 2013, fire burned across Metro’s premises, destroying units containing our clients’ property that together valued over $550,000 dollars. An official investigation ruled the blaze was a deliberate act of arson. Further inspection revealed negligence as a large opening in the fence, which purportedly secured the premises, allowed the arsonist to effortlessly enter and exit the grounds. This hole continued to remain open and unrepaired by Metro for some time.

Metro negligent misrepresentations concerning security measures is also a breach the contractual agreement and created unsafe premises. Owners of property and businesses have a duty to protect customers and tenants from unreasonable dangers, this includes taking steps necessary to learn of and alleviate dangerous conditions.

To make matters worse, following the fire our clients were denied access to their own storag units as they attempted to gather personal belongings. Even after legal counsel was retained to demand entry, Metro continued to prohibit access and turn over property. Instead, fraudulently and with malice, Metro demolished the facility and destroyed the site with our clients’ property still inside.

The defendant’s many violations continue to subject our clients to significant financial harm, all of which remains uncompensated. Our clients’ losses will be addressed and Doyle Raizner LLP will seek the appropriate compensation for this substantial property loss.

If you or someone you love has been harmed by unsafe conditions

AIG Insurance Liable to Fight Attendant for Violations of The Arizona Workers’ Compensation Act Following Her Injuries

Jeffrey Raizner

Doyle Raizner LLP has filed a workers’ compensation bad faith lawsuit against AIG Insurance (“AIG”) on behalf of a plaintiff who experienced denied claims leading to permanent physical damage. This case is filed in United States District Court in Phoenix, Arizona.

Our client, an experienced flight attendant for Mesa Airlines, damaged her lower back while performing routine security checks before a flight began its take-off roll. Her bending-twisting motion while securing a passenger triggered spinal pain and immediately prevented her ability to continue flight management duties. She then experienced a cycle of subpar medical evaluations as both a physician at Concentra Medical Clinic and AIG’s Independent Medical Examiner (IME) concluded she only had a minor strain.

Continuing discomfort compelled this plaintiff to seek her own medical evaluations. Her independent physician found microsurgery was needed to surgically decompress two bulging spinal disks from the accident.

In violation of AIG’s obligation to process our client’s claim in ‘good faith and fair dealing” the insurer ignored the private physician’s findings and wrongfully denied all surgery requests. Good faith actually requires workers’ comp providers seek out and consider any medical evaluations beneficial to the insured. AIG’s illegal outcome-driven approach continued as it filed a Notice of Claim Status form with the Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) which directly resulted in a rejection of all benefits.

Without assistance, and more than seven months after the incident, our client had no option besides using her own insurance to repair her excruciating disfigurement. She received no reimbursements following the surgery and had to hire a lawyer to secure compensation.

Though this client finally received a binding award from the ICA, AIG delayed another ten months, withholding repayment for the surgery, deductibles, or even her travel costs to the IME examinations that AIG scheduled hundreds of miles from her home. This defendant even benefitted from its unlawful tactics by successfully negotiating for lower payments with the surgeon and

Governor Perry’s Appointment to Lead the Division of Workers Compensation Remains an Unknown

Jeffrey Raizner

Workcompcentral recently released an article discussing Governor Rick Perry’s choice to lead the Division of Worker’s Compensation, Ryan Brennan. But who is Ryan Brannan? The column reveals that many workers’ compensation attorneys in Texas are asking the same thing though those within the state’s insurance industry claim this is a gentlemen with whom  they are very famiiliar.

Governor Perry’s announcement spoke of Brannan’s past as advisor within the Office of the Division of Budget, Planning and Policy. The Governor stated Brannan was “ focused on issues relating to the insurance industry, including workers’ compensation insurance.” However, Brannan’s history suggests otherwise.

Brannan’s Linkedin account shows he worked at a law firm focusing on dispute-resolution, lead a Philanthropic Society for a few years and was a policy analyst for about two. In November of 2011, Brannan joined the governor’s office as an adviser.

Joe Woods, vice president of state government relations at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, admits he worked directly with Brannan on insurance matters, but that none were workers’ compensation issues. Woods considers Brannan a very conservative guy with no hidden motives and went on to say, “I don’t think he’ll be turning over any apple carts with a brand new regulatory philosophy. I think he’ll be fair and do a good job.”

Brannan studied Political Science at Southern Methodist University before obtaining a Masters In Business Administration from the same university in 2009. Before achieving the MBA he received a law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2006.

Attorney Mike Doyle, one of the founding partners of Doyle Raizner LLP, concedes he hadn’t heard of Brannan and stated, “He’s got his law degree, his MBA, he’s worked in Perry’s office, but what does that mean? For example, in terms of stakeholder meetings, in terms of involvement, they will be there meeting with Rod Bordelon every week. But there’s no indication anywhere yet. I

Commercial Property Suit Begins Against Northfield Insurance For Bad Faith and Insurance Fraud After Plaintiff’s Business Suffered Fire Damages

Jeffrey Raizner

Doyle Raizner LLP has filed suit against Northfield Insurance Company (“Northfield”) and Executive Insurance Professionals (“Executive”), due to the defendants’ violations of Texas insurance laws.

Our client owns a furniture store and purchased insurance to specifically cover business operations, including a furniture showroom building along with a large warehouse that housed  inventory. With full knowledge of how our client’s business was structured and what property he desired to cover, Executive and Northfield still falsely represented that these areas would be protected in the case of a fire.

March 17, 2014, a catastrophic fire broke out at the property, torching the warehouse and showrooms and leaving upwards of $900,000 dollars in devastation. Our client’s valid claim for benefits was denied by Northfield in a letter claiming that only a portion of the property – the showroom – was covered, while the warehouse at the same address was not. The defendants knowingly engaged in acts of clear deception with the intention of our client believing them which also constitutes fraud and violates the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Northfield also breached its duty of good faith and fair dealing  to our client by  refusing to properly investigate and cure the discrepancy and effectively denying insurance benefits without a reasonable basis.

The failure of this insurer to honor its insurance contract has caused substantial damages beyond the costs of repair.  Destruction of the showrooms, warehouse, and its housed inventory, caused significant reductions in building value, monthly income, and level of customer satisfaction. Property damages continue to worsen due to our client receiving nothing to repair even a portion of the ruin. The defendants’ prohibited actions also cause mental and emotional turmoil as our client’s future still hangs in the balances.

The Fire Insurance Claims Practice of Doyle Raizner is pursuing the maximum legal compensation for this client. Our firm enjoys a reputation for case-building strategies that have been successful in holding many of

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