Judge Refuses To Allow Class Action Against State Farm Over Katrina Damage

Thursday, March 22nd 2007, 4:13 pm
By: News On 6

A federal judge on Thursday refused to allow a class action against State Farm Insurance Cos. over the insurer's denial of claims by policyholders on Mississippi's Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

State Farm policyholder Judy Guice had asked U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. to permit her to join other policyholders whose homes were reduced to slabs by the August 2005 storm in a class action against the Bloomington, Ill.-based insurer.

But the judge, who heard testimony on the proposal during a Feb. 28 hearing, ruled Thursday that a class action for ``slab cases'' is ``inconsistent with the requirements of due process.''

``While each of the many 'slab cases' has in common the fact that the insured property was totally destroyed during Hurricane Katrina, the many other factual differences between the cases preclude the relief that Guice is seeking,'' Senter wrote in his three-page ruling.