State Farm Loses Lawsuit Over Tornado Claims

Discussion in '2006 Archive' started by KenH, May 27, 2006.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    I would think that if State Farm had a problem with faulty construction then it should have stated that before issuing these policies.


    State Farm penalized in suit over tornado claims

    Verdict could affect similar lawsuits involving Katrina

    By Kathleen Johnston
    CNN

    (CNN) -- State Farm acted "recklessly" and "with malice" in handling insurance claims from dozens of families whose homes were damaged when a wave of tornadoes, including the strongest in recorded history, swept through Oklahoma in 1999, a jury has decided.

    The verdict, announced late Thursday, delivered millions to the lead plaintiffs and could have repercussions in the Gulf Coast states, where residents allege State Farm acted in bad faith when using engineering firms to assess damages after Hurricane Katrina destroyed thousands of homes and businesses.

    The jury in the District Court of Grady County, Oklahoma, awarded Donald and Bridget Watkins almost $13 million in total damages for their part in the class action suit against the nation's largest insurer. The Watkinses are the lead plaintiffs in the case.

    Jeff Marr, who represents the 70 families in the class action, said he thought the insurance company underestimated Oklahomans' willingness "to put an end to corporate arrogance."

    "They expected Oklahomans, just like their policy holders, to believe anything they told them," he said.

    As many as 11,000 Oklahoma residents, who were covered by State Farm when the tornadoes struck in May 1999, could be eligible for damages, Marr said.

    "State Farm is disappointed with the Oklahoma verdict," said company spokesman Fraser Engerman, adding that it will appeal.

    According to the lawsuit, State Farm hired Texas-based Haag Engineering, which intentionally undervalued damage to homes or claimed the damage was caused by other factors -- like faulty construction -- instead of tornadoes.

    - more at LINK
     
  2. SpiritualMadMan

    SpiritualMadMan
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    I note that the jury did not find that State Farm bought or otherwise sought to influence the Adjusters work...

    So, I am baffled as to why the engineering company and the adjusters aren't on the hook?

    Admittedly, anyone working for an Insurance Co. would assume that they would want the lowest possible payout...

    But, if State Farm didn't apply any form of compensation or pressure to do so...

    As for the Gulf Coast damage... I'd be willing to bet that's going to be even more indefensible for State Farm because it doesn't really matter if the direct damage was done by wind or water...

    There would have been no water without the wind...

    And, as for faulty construction... The construction was quite adequate over many years... And, would have remained adequate for many more years... *IF* there hadn't been a tornado...

    So, while I don't understand the verdict. I do fault State Farm for violating their Nationally Publicized Motto..

    "Like A Good Neighbor... State Farm ain't there!"

    Ken have you seen any reports of which companies were doing their best to help their policy holders after Katrina?

    Because... Maybe State Farm isn't the best place for my car Insurance...

    SMM
     
  3. menageriekeeper

    menageriekeeper
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    We switched our house insurance from State Farm a few years ago after they suddenly increased the price by $500 dollars a year. We had had insurance through them for 15 years and had never had a claim. When asked why the increase, the local folks said it was the national folks. Well this folk thinks they all needed to get their act together and since they couldn't....well we now have coverage with a different company.
     
  4. Hope of Glory

    Hope of Glory
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    Expect your insurance to go up even more in cases such as this. If it was the adjustors or engineers, they should be held accountable. But, juries go after deep pockets. Up here, Allstate was held accountable for damage to peoples' houses that they caused themselves.

    A few people reap benefits dishonestly (or through the dishonesty of others), and the rest of us pay for it.
     
  5. KenH

    KenH
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    No, I am not aware of any reports on that subject.
     

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