Appeals Court Upholds $500,000 Brasher Law Firm Legal Victory for Rural Louisiana Church Against Insurance Company 

Bad-faith insurance verdict stands for Hurricane Laura-related property damage

BEAUMONT, Texas – The United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a 2022 decision against Church Mutual Insurance Co. in favor of Sugartown United Pentecostal Church in Dry Creek, Louisiana, which sits about 50 miles northeast of Lake Charles. The rural church sustained serious property damage when Hurricane Laura struck in August 2020.  

Brasher Law Firm attorneys Nishi Kothari and Clint Brasher were able to help the church secure a nearly half-million-dollar judgment for actual damages that included bad faith damages during the original court proceeding, and they were successful again on appeal. 

“Sugartown got less than $4,200 from Church Mutual in their storm-damage claim despite the fact that the hurricane caused more than $200,000 in damages,” said Ms. Kothari. “Knowing that, we were happy to take on their case, and we were especially pleased with the court’s decision.” 

The jury in the initial trial returned a verdict of nearly $224,000 on top of the amount it received from the first storm-damage claim. In addition, the jury found that Church Mutual acted arbitrarily, capriciously and without probable cause when it returned such a low payment in light of the severe damage, which meant an automatic 50 percent penalty under Louisiana law. The appeal upholds that $502,172.16 award.   

“This case exceeded expectations. Our team did everything we could to make sure our client got all that they were denied from the first claim and they received so much more,” said Clint Brasher. “The fact that the Fifth Circuit ruled in our favor once again just shows how strong our case was throughout.”   

Texas-based Brasher Law Firm is dedicated to fighting for the rights and interests of its clients using its unique and passionate approach to litigation. Brasher represents individuals throughout Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma in cases involving personal injury claims, insurance claims, employment law and maritime law. For more information, visit