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Valero Title Case Decision Upheld by U.S. 5th Circuit, Major Victory for Hanszen Laporte, LLP

February 1, 2023

The U.S. 5th Circuit Court recently upheld a decision awarding a substantial six-figure judgment in favor of Valero Title, Inc. over their insurer. Valero Title Inc., a victim of wire fraud, made a claim to their insurer, RLI Insurance Co., but was wrongfully denied coverage under their policy. Hanszen Laporte, LLP represented Valero Title, Inc. in a lawsuit against RLI Insurance Co. in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Houston Division, where Hanszen Laporte successfully obtained a judgment confirming Valero Title, Inc.’s claim that a loss arising from funds transfer fraud was covered by the RLI insurance policy.

The win is notable because insurance companies typically prevail in similar cases involving wire fraud and funds transfer fraud. Counsel for Valero Title, Inc., Matthew S.C. Hansel, stated, "There a number of cases across the country that have gone in favor of the insurance companies and denied coverage in these situations. However, we were able to make important distinctions between the language in Valero’s policy and the other policies that courts have considered in other cases. Ultimately, the District Court and the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with us. This decision from the Fifth Circuit not only validates the correctness of our argument, but it vindicates our client’s investment of time, effort, and resources, and its trust in our firm.”