Articles & Publications 04.24.24

Texas Supreme Court Ruling Clarifies Attorney’s Fees Post Appraisal in Chapter 542A Claims, Published in Attorney at Law Magazine

Ansel Stroud's latest article, published in Attorney at Law Magazine, delves into the recent Texas Supreme Court ruling in Rodriguez v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Ind. In this case, the plaintiff sued for additional money from a tornado claim which resulted in Safeco invoking appraisal pursuant to the insurance policy. Addressing the question of recoverable attorney’s fees, The Texas Supreme Court ruled in favor of Safeco, citing that when an insurance company pays an appraisal award and interest, it fulfills its duty under the policy. Therefore, the plaintiff is barred from recovering attorney’s fees pursuant to the Chapter 542A attorney’s fees formula in this circumstance.   

The article provides valuable insights into how carriers can leverage appraisal as an effective dispute resolution tool and navigate the complexities of attorney’s fees post-appraisal award payment.

"Payment of an appraisal award and interest in Chapter 542A claims settles the insurer’s obligations under the policy," writes Stroud. This payment bars recovery of attorney’s fees by a plaintiff.  

Stroud notes, "The Texas Supreme Court’s recent ruling will aid in the defense of first-party insurance lawsuits in Texas arising from forces of nature claims."

Read the full article here.