- Two subjects of interest in 1992 homicide to take polygraph tests (1/15/17)8
- Obama shortens sentence of inmate from Cape (1/19/17)9
- Business notebook: Jackson salon owner also opens a clothing store (1/16/17)
- Area hospitals hope a box helps prevent infant deaths (1/19/17)6
- Cape SportsPlex contractor offers a look at the project (1/15/17)14
- Meat-processing plant faces $70K penalty for Clean Water Act violations (1/17/17)4
- Southeast to lose $3.5 million from state in budget cuts (1/18/17)21
- Subjects of interest in 1992 killing take polygraph tests; results not revealed (1/18/17)2
- Governor cuts $146 million, colleges take hit (1/17/17)
- Southern Bank announces merger with Capaha Bank (1/15/17)
Court hits State Farm with $145 million judgment
SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Supreme Court reinstated a $145 million jury award against State Farm for underpaying insurance claims, cheating customers and destroying crucial documents. A lower court found State Farm had even investigated the sex life of a company whistleblower.
The case involved State Farm's refusal to pay $50,000 to settle a claim involving a 1981 Utah car accident that killed one driver and left another driver disabled.
The insurer wouldn't settle even though one of its investigators determined a State Farm policyholder, Curtis Campbell, was at fault for the accident.
Campbell, 83, was found at fault by a trial jury and held liable for $130,000 more than his $50,000 policy limit. State Farm eventually paid all the damages, including Campbell's personal liability, but Campbell still sued, alleging its refusal to settle was part of a companywide scheme to limit payments on claims.
A Utah jury awarded Campbell and his wife $145 million in punitive and $2.6 million in compensatory damages.
Those amounts were later reduced on an appeal to $25 million in punitive damages and $1 million in compensation.
Friday's 4-1 decision by the Utah Supreme Court reinstated the punitive award to $145 million and kept the compensation at $1 million.
Paul Belnap, State Farm's Utah lawyer, said the company was considering its options and could appeal. The company denies any improper dealings.