Jury finds in favor of Hurricane Laura survivor who sued insurance company

The trial was held in U.S. District Court in Lafayette because the courthouse in Lake Charles...
The trial was held in U.S. District Court in Lafayette because the courthouse in Lake Charles is still closed due to damage from Hurricane Laura(Theresa Schmidt kplc)
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 6:32 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) -The first Hurricane Laura claim to go to a jury has been decided.

The jury found in favor of a Lake Charles businessman because jurors determined the insurance company acted in bad faith and did not pay timely.

Joey Odom owns a 15,000 square foot building on Esplanade Drive.

Hurricane Laura caused severe damage according to his pictures and complaint filed in Federal Court.

Odom’s complaint was that Scottsdale Insurance Company, whose parent company is Nationwide,did not pay timely or fulfill its obligations. The trial was held in the U.S. District Courthouse in Lafayette because the one in Lake Charles is still damaged from Hurricane Laura.

Attorney Michael Cox says after the court applies penalties the judgment will be over a million dollars.

“It is the first hurricane Laura jury trial that’s gone forward, and we had a big victory. My client Joey Odom got everything that he sought at trial. The jury found that the insurance company was in bad faith. They found that they underpaid the claim and paid what they did pay, late,” said Cox.

Odom says it’s a win for him and the people, though it was a stress filled experience.

“After it was said and done, the relief and excitement for southwest Louisiana because this just ain’t right and we’re still living it. My house still isn’t completed yet, getting back in and a bunch of people are still in the same situation, lost their vehicles. Lost houses, just because the insurance company strung them along and I feel sorry for those people. Hopefully, something will happen here and that will turn,” he said.

Cox says it’s a big win for Joey Odom but a huge win for Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana.

Because the insurance companies were testing the water. They felt that paying late was acceptable. That somehow the insured has to pay the premium and follow the law , but the insurance company doesn’t have to follow the law, in paying 30 days after proof of loss. This jury said loudly and clearly that we’re going to hold insurance companies to the law as well.

We contacted Scottsdale Insurance after their attorney referred us to the company.

We have not yet heard back.

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