About those Boiler Plate State Farm Engineering Reports….

Thanks to our good friend Rick Trahant we have the trial exhibit which illustrates how State Farm wind insureds had little chance of collecting for wind damage from the good neighbor after Katrina. One wonders of the extent of independence among the engineers that worked for State Farm that let claims management there write their reports in advance of their visit to the claimant’s property:

This is a suggested format for the written evaluation of a structure. Please be sure to include the header information and reference the loss by address and claim number. An opening paragraph is appropriate detailing your assignment and disclaimer.

Hurricane Katrina struck southeast Louisiana during the early morning hours on August 29, 2005, as a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale. The eye made landfall in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, just south of the town of Buras with sustained winds of around 140 MPH at 6:10 AM. The strongest winds were associated with the east eyewall which passed to the east of New Orleans. As Katrina moved northward, dry air was entrained into the circulation and wind speeds decreased substantially. Meanwhile, the storm surge increased rapidly along the Mississippi coast in advance of the hurricane hours before landfall of the eyewall. Hurricane Katrina made a second landfall at the mouth of the Pearl River between Louisiana and Mississippi around 10:00 AM as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of around 120 MPH (estimated at 33 feet above ground in the open). The west eyewall passed over Slidell, Louisiana, whereas the east eyewall passed over Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Winds in Bay St. Louis were initially from the east, then switched to the southeast and south as the eye made landfall. A record storm surge occurred to the east of the eye with the Gulf waters rising more than 31 feet in Waveland. The storm surge preceded and accompanied the strongest winds. Also, the storm surge reached its peak along with the strongest winds.


Based on our inspection, we made the following observations and reached the following conclusions:…..

6. In summary, the (insert policyholder’s name) residence was destroyed by storm surge moving south to north. Water reached higher than the eaves/ceilings. There was a lack of wind damage to the roofing, indicating that the roofs were likely underwater when the winds were the strongest and/or the winds were not very strong at roof level. Homes to the north at higher elevations survived the storm surge and wind damage was limited primarily to roof materials.

Here is the pdf of the State Farm boilerplate report for those interested.


11 thoughts on “About those Boiler Plate State Farm Engineering Reports….”

  1. In several Louisiana State Farm cases, the Farm’s climatologist, as well as its engineers, have been testifying that Katrina was a Cat 1 on the northeast side of Lake Pontchartrain. I love this because it destroys their credibility. Allstate’s meteorologist told the jury in Weiss that Katrina was a Cat 1, and the jury almost laughed.

    I do not have a comparable boilerplate report from the Farm that says “the residence was destroyed by wind.”

    This is the kind of damning evidence against SF from which the Scruggs circus has diverted attention.

  2. …and the ringmaster of the Scruggs circus is – of, course none other than State Farm – discrediting the Rigsby sisters in every cooperating court they can find and doing likewise to the two Missouri law firms.

    That’s why I feel so strongly about the need to give them a hearing. Whether Judge Senter changes his mind or not, justice can not be served when one side of the scale is loaded with evidence from other cases while the other “stays” empty until both the evidence, witnesses, and legal counsel are disqualified.

    That the law allows such is an outrage and a self-inflicted injury on the integrity of our legal system.

    Thank you for a “picture” worth far more than a 1000 words.

  3. HD now you know why I gave Sid Salter hell on his blog when Judge Acker low blowed Jim Hood and the Rigsby sisters earlier this month. It is also why some ppl down here believe Folo is sponsored by State Farm. (I don’t think that but I do believe an unintended effect of some of the posts there helped SF change the subject.)

    I don’t think the political right understands how they badly they hurt themsleves politicizing the events here simply to get at Jim Hood. There is plenty of Hood foot in mouth stuff to get Hood on without hurting the remaining plaintiffs and frankly some of the attacks dutifully parrotted by commenters like Salter simply don’t make sense given what we know in the public record.

    Marsha Thompson at WLBT should have known better than to label the Risgby sisters documents theives. It speaks very poorly of the level of journalistic professionalism there.


  4. Just clarifying Sop that by “down here” you meant the Coast not here at SLABBED.

    Let’s just say HD wasn’t the only one diverted by a long shot.

  5. …but I’ll be reconsidering my position over the weekend with some reading recommendations from Sop. Y’all keep pushing that info out…especially north of Hattiesburg. (The NoHatt Movement)

  6. We received permission today to link and reprint Gene ‘s article that was in the Ole Miss Law Journal. Check out insurance page as we’ll have it up soon too HD.


  7. HD, I thought of you as I was reading around this morning and when I came back to write this message, you’re “NoHatt” comment put me ROFLMAO. Fella, you got it! The blogosphere is full of a lot of Katrina “cowboys with no hat” – not like way back when you could tell the good guys from the bad by the color of their hat.

    Without hats, we have to rely on the critical thinking skills described in this older post.

    Critical thinkers gather information from all senses, verbal and/or written expressions, reflection, observation, experience and reasoning. Critical thinking has its basis in intellectual criteria that go beyond subject-matter divisions and which include: clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance, and fairness.

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