Insurance Claims Expert Witnesses & Bad Faith Liability Part 2

Insurance claims expert witnesses may opine on insurance companies, bad faith, liability insurance, and related topics. In When Insurers Hide Behind their Experts in Texas, Sergio V. Leal, Esq. writes:

In State Farm Lloyds v. Nicolau, 951 S.W.2d 444 (Tex. 1997) a homeowner filed a lawsuit against its insurer for foundation and other structural damage that resulted from a plumbing leak that introduced water into the clay subsoil. The insurer retained an expert, HAAG Engineering¸ to conduct a study on the homeowner’s claim. It was established in Nicolau that the insurer hired HAAG Engineering with the belief that HAAG Engineering generally believed that leaks beneath a house would not cause foundation movement. As expected, the HAAG engineer concluded that there was no damage near the leak, but evidence showed that his investigation was not thorough because: (1) he did not isolate the leak; (2) he failed to determine the leak’s severity; and (3) he did not take any soil samples. The HAAG report concluded that the plumbing leak had not caused the damage, and the insurer denied the claim based on the HAAG report.

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