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Judge allows class action in hail damage suit

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A U.S. District judge is allowing certain State Farm insurance policy holders to proceed in a class action suit against the company as a result of how the insurer handled roof claims following a 2006 hail storm in central Indiana.

On Feb. 6, Southern District Judge William T. Lawrence granted the plaintiffs' motion for class certification in part in the suit, Cynthia Kartman, et al. v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 1:07-cv-474. Judge Lawrence found the plaintiffs met all of the prerequisites of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a) and (b)(2) to allow a class of individuals to pursue the injunctive relief requested. The judge rejected the plaintiffs' original request that those with roof damage from the hail storm and had claims denied by State Farm should be allowed in the suit. Instead, Judge Lawrence defined the class seeking injunctive relief as all State Farm insured homeowners who submitted roof damage claims under their policies who didn't receive an entirely new roof at the insurer's expense, minus any applicable deduction or depreciation.

The District Court ordered that a general notice be made available via publication and Web site to inform potential class members and that individualized notices go out to those who have current lawsuits pending or decide to file a lawsuit before the opt-out date.

The plaintiffs in this suit allege State Farm doesn't have a reasonable, objective standard in place for adjusting hail damage claims and many people were denied or not fully covered for roof damage from the storm. The plaintiffs want compensatory and punitive damages for breach of contract, tortious bad faith breach of their insurance contracts, and unjust enrichment. They also seek injunctive relief in the form of an order that State Farm re-evaluate the roofs pursuant to a uniform and objective standard of everyone who made a timely claim.

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  1. Number one, only $1 was earmarked as punitives. Most of the $1,950,000 was earmarked as pain and suffering. But I will give you, JS, that sure does sound punitive! Number two, remittitur, for certain, but how does one unring the dinner bell that has now been sounded? Catholic school blood is in the sharktank.

  2. Hi, I had an auto accident on 12/26/2012 on I-65 near Lafayette, IN. I rear hit a semi truck. Meanwhile, I got a traffic ticket. I went to White Superior Court to have a hearing. I thought that I could win the case. I lost. I am not sure if you will be able to reverse the judgment in the White Superior Court. Meanwhile, I will try to let the insurance agency for the truck driver to pay the damages to my car. I wonder if your office is willing to handle the case. Thanks.

  3. Putting aside the question of how they got past the pastoral purpose/ 1st Amendment/ MSJ hurdle-- let me ask this: a million bucks in punitive damages? are you kidding me? absolutely ridiculous. Remittitur.

  4. Compromising precious constitutional rights in order to protect them? Rather like the military intelligence slogan that the town had to be destroyed in order to save it. Looks like Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus will have quite the eventful Boxing Day this year. Wise men will arrive to find no one to accept their gifts? Oh well, wisdom not all that desired this xmas anyway. Maybe the ACLU and Christian attorneys can work out a "three days every third year" visitation compromise and all of this messy litigation stuff can just be boxed up as well? It is an art form, now isn't it? Thomas More, a man of manifold compromises is undoubtedly cheering on wildly.

  5. From the MCBA: “This situation is not just about the death of Michael Brown, but the thousands of other African-Americans who are disproportionately targeted and killed by police officers.” The association said it was “saddened and disappointed” by the decision not to indict Ferguson police officer. HOPING that the MCBA will denouce the execution style killig of two NYC police officers this day, seemingly the act of one who likewise believes that the police are targeting blacks for murder and getting away with it. http://www.mediaite.com/online/two-nypd-cops-fatally-shot-in-ambush-in-brooklyn/ Pray this violence soon ends, and pray it stays far away from Indiana.

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