Man in Legal Battle with Insurance Company Over
For nearly two years,
Hector Figueroa has been living with constant reminders of the
damage to his home
Article Courtesy of Channel 6 South Florida
By Alina Machado
May 11, 2022
For nearly two years, Hector
Figueroa has been living with constant reminders of the damage to his
Outside, sandbags that once held a protective tarp remain on the roof.
Inside, he showed NBC 6 some of the rotted wood on the ceiling, water
damage he says was caused by a spring storm.
“I like things to be exactly where it was
originally, with no issues,” he said. “I’ve been very
patient, longer than I wanted to be patient, to be honest.”
The Navy veteran says in May 2020, while he was out of town
for a few weeks, a relative who was checking on his house
found water coming into the home.
“He came in at a time when it was raining, actually, the
storm was happening during that week,” said Figueroa. “I
explained to him, put buckets, get towels.”
When he returned from his trip, Figueroa
said he reached out to roofers to try to figure out what was
causing the leak.
“They believe it had to do with the high windstorm,” said Figueroa.
He eventually filed a claim with his insurance company, which was
partially approved and he received a check for $12,720.
An adjuster he hired had estimated damages at over $90,000.
“That was the total cost to fix the roof or replace it, I should say,”
he said. “They didn’t want to pay out.”
He said that’s why he eventually filed a lawsuit against his insurance
company in November 2020.
“I didn’t think it would take this long,” said Figueroa.
In March 2022, they went to trial.
A trial transcript shows attorneys for the insurance company called into
question the actual date the loss happened, saying Figueroa and his
adjuster had given different dates.
The company also said their inspector went out to the property and
determined “the flat roof was worn and torn” and that “there was no
evidence of any storm-created opening on that flat roof or the tile
roof” so the company decided it was "not going to provide coverage for a
In the end, a jury sided with Figueroa, awarding him an additional
“And from that point on, the company still refused to pay,” said
Figueroa. “They want to have a retrial.”
Jesus “JD” Moises is a property insurance attorney. His law firm is
representing Figueroa in the case.
“In the past, it might have taken four to six months to settle a case
like that,” Moises told NBC 6.
He said Figueroa's case is a good example of what has become more common
since the pandemic, with insurance companies less willing to try to work
with homeowners and avoid costly legal expenses.
“In the past, we were a settlement-based law firm and we were lucky if
we saw one trial a year,” he said. “Now, we’re set for 20 to 25 trials a
According to the Insurance Information Institute, in 2021, over 100,000
property claim lawsuits were filed in Florida. They said no other state
had over 900.
“And that includes Louisiana, which has seen over 600,000 hurricane loss
claims in the last two years,” said Mark Friedlander, a spokesperson for
Friedlander said the data shows the litigation in Florida is “out of
“There are some law firms that are literally filing property claim
lawsuits by the thousands,” Friedlander said.
“From what I’ve heard from people on the other side is, the issue is not
that it’s difficult to identify those parties, but sometimes it’s more
difficult to stop them,” Moises said.
It’s why Moises says the state should focus on providing resources to
address the fraud.
“The people doing something wrong should be held accountable solely,”
“I know there’s probably claims out there that probably are not
legitimate,” said Figueroa. “But I think that’s a small percentage of
Figueroa hopes lawmakers in Tallahassee remember the struggles of people
like him when they reconvene for a special session later this month.
“We need to find a resolution right away,” he said. “And hopefully the
state of Florida can draw more insurance companies to help us out and be
A special legislative session on property insurance is scheduled for the
week of May 23.