A Louisiana church has filed a federal lawsuit alleging that its insurer failed to adequately cover millions of dollars in property damage resulting from two devastating weather events last year, including Hurricane Ida.
First Baptist Church of LaPlace, Louisiana alleges that Church Mutual Insurance Company of Merrill, Wisconsin, violated state law requiring insurers to pay claims within 30 days of proof of loss, according to attorneys with the New Orleans office of the Potts Law Firm LLP. Church Mutual is foreign-owned, leading to the filing in federal court.
According to the suit, the church was first damaged in an April 2021 windstorm, followed by the even more devastating effects of Hurricane Ida in late August of last year. The 38,000-square-foot facility sustained significant 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 Fellowship Hall, a practice which continues today. Church Mutual adjustors verified the damages in both cases, but the church alleges payment for the initial April damage was not even received prior to Hurricane Ida, well outside the state-mandated timeframe.
The lawsuit further alleges that Church Mutual was fully aware of the critical damage but grossly underpaid the initial claim, refused to pay an adequate amount to remediate and repair the facility for losses sustained from Hurricane Ida, and incorrectly asserted that much of the damage sustained during Ida was from the April storm.
The lawsuit, filed by the Potts Law Firm LLP, is The First Baptist Church of LaPlace v. Church Mutual Insurance Company, No. 2:22-cv-00884, filed in the United States District for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
Source: Potts Law Firm LLP
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