Hood, State Farm close to Katrina settlement

John O'Brien Jan. 10, 2007, 9:40am


GULFPORT, Miss. - Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and State Farm Insurance Company are reportedly close to agreeing on a settlement that will end hundreds of lawsuits.

The New York Times reports that the 639 lawsuits could be settled for $80 million, providing an average of about $125,000 to homeowners who filed lawsuits after flooding from Hurricane Katrina destroyed their homes.

The class-action suit claimed five insurance companies -- State Farm, Allstate, Nationwide, Farm Bureau and USAA -- were to blame for the flooding that destroyed billions of dollars worth of property. The companies argued that protection against flooding was not included in their policies but by federal flood insurance

A federal judge didn't agree, though, and remanded the case back to a state court. Afterward, Hood asked citizens to call their insurance companies and suggest a settlement.

The report quoted Washington lawyer Gary Thompson as saying, "They're willing to settle because they know they would have to go through a long, arduous journey examining each and every claim."

It also says that insurers already have paid $5.2 billion for damage to homes throughout Mississippi.

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Mississippi Attorney General
550 High St Suite 1200
Jackson, MS 39201

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