No Forum Shopping for a Favorable Appraisal

The Court of Appeals has dissolved a temporary injunction that would have prevented a court in Bastrop County from continuing to oversee a homeowner’s insurance appraisal process. James and Patricia Barrentines’ home in Bastrop was damaged by one the wildfires that plagued that area in 2011. Their insurer, Safeco, demanded an appraisal of the loss, and both parties appointed their own appraisers pursuant to the policy. When the two party-appointed appraisers were unable to agree on an umpire, Safeco went to court in Bastrop County to have one appointed. The court-appointed umpire issued an appraisal favorable to the homeowners, but the Bastrop County court then appointed a different umpire. The Barrentines then refiled in Dallas and obtained a temporary injunction forbidding any reappraisal. The Dallas Court of Appeals reversed that ruling, holding that it disturbed — rather than preserved — the status quo by interfering with the Bastrop County court’s authority to conduct the appraisal under the insurance contract.

Safeco Lloyds Ins. Co. v. Barrentine, No. 05-13-01011

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