By Steve Mostyn
Every day, good and decent people take the right steps to try and ensure a better future for their families. They scrimp and save to purchase a home or something big like a car or a piece of equipment for their small business. Then something happens.
Growing up as the youngest of four siblings on a small farm in East Texas, I saw firsthand the paper-thin line that separates many American families from ruin. It’s the reason I became a lawyer, and it’s the reason I chose to go into consumer practice and start Mostyn Law.
For my family, making ends meet meant supplementing our farm income with work in the oil fields. We didn’t have much, but it was enough. I was very aware of how carefully my family had to consider large purchases. If something broke or didn’t do what it was supposed to, it caused a major disruption to my family’s life.
I guess it’s no surprise that in high school, I found myself drawn to my school’s Mock Trial program, where students would argue cases. I always found myself on the side of the plaintiffs. I suppose I was drawn to the idea of wanting to make things right for someone – of wanting to make things fair.
I was the first in my family to graduate college. In law school and early on in my career, I found myself most interested in protecting the little guys. After all, my family was the little guy. I knew exactly how the American dream was supposed to work, but often didn’t.
Throughout my life, I have seen the devastating effects that a death or a child’s cancer diagnosis can have on a family. The emotional toll is already enormous, and it only becomes more stressful and bitter when the insurance company suddenly refuses to pay a death benefit or denies treatment for a serious illness.
Losing a family home during a natural disaster can be just as devastating. For many middle-class families, their home is their primary investment. Building equity in a home can provide a stable retirement later in life, and many families plan to pass their homes down to future generations, providing a nest egg for their children and grandchildren.
When that home is destroyed or damaged and the family, now homeless, is forced to battle an insurance company they paid to protect them, I’m taken right back to that small farm in East Texas. My parents taught me what a “square deal” was. It’s a principle that is often now lost when companies put profits ahead of people, the very customers that have put their trust in that company to protect them in time of crisis.
At Mostyn Law, my wife Amber and our entire team are committed to the “little guys,” whenever and wherever there is an opportunity to protect them. I guess you could say it’s in my blood.