A federal judge said Monday that his "door is open" to a mass settlement of disputed insurance claims in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, but he won't endorse a proposed class action settlement of roughly 35,000 claims for State Farm policyholders.
In January, State Farm Fire and Casualty Company and lawyers for hundreds of policyholders announced a deal that called for State Farm to pay at least $50 million to roughly 35,000 policyholders who didn't sue the company but could have their claims reopened.
In March, however, a team of lawyers led by Richard "Dickie" Scruggs withdrew their request for Judge L.T. Senter to sign off on the agreement, citing a legal "stalemate" and the judge's apparent reluctance to approve the settlement.
On Monday, Senter said he is willing to consider a new settlement proposal even though he is no longer being asked to approve January's deal.