State Farm appeals Katrina fraud ruling
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, Miss., 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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