State Farm Appeals Katrina Fraud Ruling

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

Gulfport, Miss.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. has asked a judge to void a jury's finding that the company defrauded the government involving a policyholder claim after Hurricane Katrina.

Motions filed in U.S. District Court in Gulfport also seek a new trial.

The verdict came in April in a whistleblower lawsuit against the Illinois-based insurer.

The lawsuit was filed by Cori and Kerri Rigsby of Ocean Springs, Miss., who once worked for Alabama-based E.A. Renfroe, a company State Farm contracted to provide damage assessments after the August 2005 hurricane.

The jury found State Farm avoided covering a policyholder's wind losses by blaming damage on storm surge, which is covered by federal flood insurance.

State Farm was ordered to repay $250,000 to the government. Other damages are to be determined.


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