- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Cape man accused of secretly recording women, posting to porn site (11/22/17)
- Thankful People: Kirsten Strebe recovers from traumatic car accident, brain injury (11/23/17)
- Cape attorney Brandon Cooper to run for judge (11/20/17)2
- Thankful People: Moore family counts its blessing after harrowing accident (11/23/17)
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Deal Finder brings 'unique' shopping to Cape Girardeau (11/24/17)
- The Tungsten Groove to release first album featuring original songs (11/17/17)
- 1 dead, 3 hurt in accident on Highway 72 (11/19/17)
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.