Bad Faith in Handling of Claim Leads to $21 Million Verdict

08/13/2009 | Unfair Insurance Practices/Bad Faith

In a short, but very sweet, 2 page opinion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a $21 million dollar verdict against United Fire and Casualty for its claims hanling following Hurricane Katrina.  A portion of the verdict was for bad faith in the handling of the claim.

The Plainitff was Robert Fresh Markets, a Louisiana grocer whose business had been destroyed during the storm.  The Plaintiff's first witness was an insurance adjustor who initially reported to United Fire & Casualty that storm damage to the roofs of Robért's grocery stores allowed in rain and wind, destroying merchandise and forcing stores to close for repairs. Franco said the adjustor testified that United Fire & Casualty pressured him to change his report in a way that favored the company and then terminated him after he did.

Churchill Downs Flooded

Following the recent flooding in Louisville, Kentucky I suspect many insurers will wrongfully deny policy holders claims here as well.  

If they do, claimants may be able to hire a Kentucky Bad Faith Lawyer and use Kentucky's bad faith laws (Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Act) to recover damages from their insurer for wrongful claims handling.