I suppose if business is really bad for some lawyers, they could just fantasize about representing people and seeking justice. If the pleadings filed by Allstate are true, one Texas lawyer went beyond fantasy and literally filed insurance claims and threatened lawsuits on behalf of policyholders he never represented. The story was reported by Texas Lawyer. It stated in part the following:
Alleging Edinburg lawyer Richard Kent Livesay made "false and material misrepresentations" that he represented insureds in property damage claims, Allstate Texas Lloyd’s seeks a court order to prevent Livesay and his firm from demanding payment for property owners they doesn’t represent.
In a lawsuit filed in Tarrant County, Allstate alleges Livesay and his firm have engaged in a pattern of conduct throughout Texas in which Livesay "victimizes" Allstate insureds by falsely claiming he had been hired by them to represent them in property damage claims," and by doing so, obtained information about the insureds’ policies and claims the defendants aren’t entitled to obtain.
"Livesay’s actions interfere with the contractual relationship between Allstate and its insureds, and interfere in the resolution of claims genuinely brought by insureds," Allstate wrote in a petition filed Dec. 29 in Tarrant County.
Allstate seeks an injunction to prevent Livesay…from falsely claiming to Allstate that they represent homeowners in property damage claims, forwarding correspondence or communications to Allstate asserting they represent the insureds when they do not and forwarding demands for payment, threatening legal action "supposedly" on behalf of insureds when they have not been retained to represent them.
Allstate alleges that in the petition for claims filed by three policyholders in connection with a May 8, 2014, "weather event," Livesay falsely informed that he and his firm had been retained to represent the insureds, and they sent a demand letter in all three cases notifying the insurance company they intended to pursue claims and seek damages.
In August 2015, Allstate alleges, each of the three policyholders notified the company that they had not hired Livesay or his law office and were not represented by Livesay.
In addition to the injunction, Allstate seeks actual damages of $1,099—consisting of fees paid to law firms the insurance company hired to respond to the demand letters—exemplary damages, interest and court costs.
To be fair, allegations are one thing and proof another in any lawsuit. Allstate is one of those companies that seek a lot of publicity about frivolous litigation and using public relations types to influence anti-consumer legislation. I am fairly certain this is part of Allstate’s plan in this case so that it can use this bizarre instance as a "crisis" and seek bad laws that in the long-run hurt even its own customers.
Allstate went bonkers with its Core Claim Process Redesign Program in the 1990’s to gain additional profit and even went so far as to falsely claim before government entities those claims programs did not apply to homeowners claims. So, when an Allstate public relations person claimed that Allstate’s motive to file this lawsuit was to help inform its customers of these practices, most knowledgeable about Allstate were wondering how long that Allstate public relation’s employee’s nose was growing while speaking to the reporter.
Still, if the allegations are true, Allstate claims managers should be upset and Allstate should be congratulated for bringing this legal action. All lawyers should be shaking their heads because those types of actions are demeaning to the legal profession and embarrassing. If true, the Texas Bar should be swift about taking action and showing we can police our own.