No ‘Magic Words’ Required for Texas Insurance Code (TPPCA) Claim

Although this case relies on Texas Insurance Code, it gives all businesses and insurance companies who may find themselves in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals some insight into that Court’s analysis of the specificity required in pleadings to comply with statutory requirements. In Agredano v. State Farm Lloyds, No. 19-50656 (September 16, 2020), the Agredanos filed suit against State Farm after the insurer denied their claim for windstorm damage to their home. The district court granted State Farm summary judgment on various causes of action, but the Plaintiff’s breach of contract claim was allowed to be presented to a jury. The district court originally granted the Plaintiff’s request for attorney’s fees and statutory interest of 18%. The court then re-considered its decision based on the Fifth Circuit’s ruling in Chavez v. State Farm Lloyds, 746 F. App’x 337 (5thCir. 2018) and denied Plaintiff’s claim because the Plaintiffs did not specifically seek relief under § 542.060 of the Texas Insurance Code. In reversing the district court’s ruling, the Fifth Circuit said the Plaintiff’s pleading could have been “more robust” a § 542.060 claim does not “require magic words or detailed facts in most cases.” The standard of pleading is unclear but notice pleading with little more was enough in this case. Read the full case file here.