I saw this breaking story on the case of Kodrin v State Farm show up in our Times Picayune RRS feed and immediately recognized the case since we covered it extensively. (here, here, here, and here) It was also the case where I exposed Rossie as a Katrina legal charlatan as his penchant for letting State Farm ghost write his blog finally caught up with him.
All that aside I wish I could get empart some hope that the Kodrin’s appeal to the Supremes will amount to anything other than a quixotic effort, after all we are a policyholder blog. Simply put, while we all know State Farm acted in bad faith in how they adjusted the Kodrin’s wind claim simply knowing that fact is not enough; the evidence must be introduced into the trial record and it is largely missing in Kodrin. The first “here” I linked above is what I think history will judge as the definitive post on the topic of Kodrin and getting bad faith cases past the 5th Circuit and our newer readers will also find out what was missing from the Kodrin equation. Without further commentary on my part following is today’s Times Picayune story on the Kodrin appeal to the US Supreme Court:
A Port Sulphur couple who lost their home in Hurricane Katrina has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling rejecting their assertion that State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. acted in bad faith when handling their claim.
Judy and Michael Kodrin originally sued in U.S. District Court and won a $356,318 award, which included the full value of their homeowners policy plus additional penalties and attorneys fees.
But a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the penalties and attorneys fees, reducing the overall award to $117,084, out of which the Kodrins would have to pay their own legal fees if they recover no additional damages.
The 2007 trial proceeding was one of the few State Farm cases in Louisiana to reach a jury.
State Farm said the house was destroyed by flooding and that payments should come from the National Flood Insurance Program. The Kodrins said the house was destroyed by wind, making State Farm liable under the homeowners policy it issued.
The 5th Circuit let stand the jury’s finding that State Farm owed under the homeowner’s policy. But it rejected the conclusion that the insurance giant acted in an “arbitrary and capricious” manner.
At the time, State Farm said it was pleased with the appellate court’s decision.
The Supreme Court receives thousands of appeals each year, but in recent years has accepted fewer than 100 for oral argument. The high court, now in recess, begins its next term in October.