Pass the popcorn (and the Rebel Yell)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZfAme2xjYTY]

The plaintiff’s property was located on the Jordan River in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi which endured the pounding winds of hurricane Katrina’s northeast side for hours before the eye wall crossed it and then endured many more hours of wind after the eye passed. Eventually, storm covered the property, but not before the property endured the maximum sustained winds well as one of the longest periods of sustained hurricane force winds in recorded history. During this onslaught, their entire property was destroyed on August 29, 2005, and the plaintiff’s lost all of their personal possessions located upon the premises as well. [See photo as Exhibit A].

Plaintiff’s reported their loss to State Farm, through its national call center while they were still evacuated in Northwest Louisiana. State Farm eventually assigned adjuster, Heather Keyt, an inexperienced adjuster to adjust the plaintiff’s claims. Ms. Keyt quickly recommended that the claim be denied without supporting evidence except for a alleged report by the plaintiff on the cause of the loss being storm surge

….when asked to explain how she came to determine that the house was a total loss due to flood, Ms. Keyt’s consistent and yet unreliable “fact” was a description made in the initial claim recorded by State Farm at its national call center received immediately following Hurricane Katrina. This section of the claim file that maintained the initial information is referred to as the “Facts” section. [Exhibit F].

Mark Flores, one of the insureds and a joint owner of the home, made the initial reporting of the claim. Mark Flores was evacuated to Natchitoches, Louisiana, approximately 40 miles from the Texas border, at the time he made the call to make a claim, and could not have known the cause of the loss of his home. [Exhibit G; Mark Flores depo., pp. 13-14]. Continue reading “Pass the popcorn (and the Rebel Yell)”