In March 2017, a destructive hailstorm passed through North Texas. Virtuwave Holdings owned a 70,000 square foot mixed-use commercial building in McKinney, Texas that suffered considerable damage from the storm. The building developed multiple leaks within a few days after the storm. Virtuwave reported the damage to its insurance company, State Farm Lloyds.
State Farm’s initial adjuster only inspected the roof and exterior of the building and concluded that the damage did not exceed the policy’s $240,000 deductible. Virtuwave’s own investigation concluded that the building required a new roof and extensive interior repairs as a result of the hailstorm. Refusing to accept State Farm’s determination, Virtuwave filed a breach of contract and insurance bad faith lawsuit against State Farm, requesting more than one million dollars in damages.
Virtuwave hired Pearson Legal, P.C. to represent them in their dispute with State Farm, a battle that stretched out for four years. A notable aspect of this lawsuit is that it was chosen to be the first summary jury trial held via zoom in May 2020 during the pandemic. [https://www.pearsonlegalpc.com/2020/05/pearson-legal-participates-in-first-summary-jury-trial-via-zoom/].
On November 11, 2021, a jury in the 429th Judicial District Court in Collin County, Texas, determined that State Farm breached the insurance policy when they concluded that the damage was below the deductible. The jury also found that State Farm “knowingly” engaged in bad faith claims handling. The total jury award, including the Prompt Payment of Claims penalty, exceeded $3.5 million.
“This jury’s verdict brought a measure of satisfaction to our client after a lengthy battle,” said Matthew R. Pearson, one of Virtuwave’s attorneys.
Pearson Legal, P.C.’s practice focuses on commercial litigation, including insurance recovery and construction defects on contingency throughout the states of Texas, Colorado, and Oklahoma. The firm represents commercial property owners, including both public and private entities. Pearson Legal, P.C. is responsible for several of the largest insurance verdicts awarded in the State of Texas in recent years.