Judge Rules Against Insurer Over Woodward Tornado Claims

Friday, March 7th 2014, 8:22 am
By: News 9

It was a big win for Oklahoma families who say their insurance company tried to cheat them after a tornado destroyed their homes.

An Oklahoma judge says Farmers Insurance and a subsidiary must pay a total of $15 million to three plaintiffs whose homes were damaged in the 2012 Woodward tornado.

The judge ruled in favor of the three plaintiffs who filed breach of contract lawsuits against Farmers and Foremost Insurance Group. The lawsuit alleged that the insurance companies underpaid claims and used adjusters that they knew would offer low estimates.

In his decision last week, the judge said he was "shocked at the disservice" to the three plaintiffs in the case and awarded each plaintiff $2 million for bad faith and breach of duty and $3 million each in punitive damages.

"The adjustor came out and he walked around, and he looked at stuff and said some of it wasn't tornado damage. I never had a claim. I didn't know what to say. When he told me the amount of money he was going to give me, I knew that wasn't enough to fix my house," said Sterling Parks, Lawsuit Plaintiff.

A spokesman for Farmers Insurance says the company is reviewing the decision and is evaluating its next step