I had to laugh when I was alerted by a reader to this story, it was her live blogging from the US Court in Natchez that landed Bellesouth on the cyber map here in Mississippi. It was her insistence that Hood did not do badly on the witness stand under Robie’s questioning and that he still did indeed have litigation ongoing against State Farm that put her on the outs with some folks who thought they knew better. In my world of finance blogging it is far better to be right and on the outs with the know it alls about a stock than wrong and losing your ass. Congratulations Belle.
Also we congratulate Jim Hood who has been viciously attacked by the combination of State Farm, Scruggs haters and the Mississippi GOP. Today’s announcement shows he stood firm and with resolve to do what was right for State Farm policyholders even in the face of the withering political criticism. I hope he enjoys the well deserved credit for the additional $74 million he got for the slabbed.
Here is the breaking story from Anita Lee:
Attorney General Jim Hood and State Farm have settled a lawsuit Hood’s office filed against the company.
Hood said State Farm has paid policyholder an additional $74 million for Hurricane Katrina claims, meeting requirements that company had agreed to with his office in January 2007.
Hood sued the company because he believed it was failing to live up to that agreement. The agreement called for a claims re-evaluation process that would have been overseen by the federal courts. It also required State Farm to pay policyholders whose homes were completely destroyed by Katrina a minimum 50 percent of their coverage.
Because State Farm failed to get that federal supervision, Hood sued. He now says a review of settlements State Farm subsequently reached with policyholders showed the company met the 50 percent requirement.
He said if the courts had supervised the claims re-evaluation, he believed policyholders would have received up to $476 million.
As part of the settlement, State Farm has agreed to notify 148 policyholders who had only slabs or piers after the hurricane that they can have their claims re-evaluated as well.
So far, these policyholders have not participated in the re-evaluation process or filed lawsuits against the company.