A Broward County Court has approved a class action settlement on behalf of more than 12,000 State Farm Insurance policyholders in Florida who will receive 100 percent of the damages they requested in a $6.8 million settlement of claims filed last year in which they alleged the insurer refused to pay replacement costs of screen enclosures damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma, attorneys for the plaintiffs announced.
State Farm depreciated the cost of screen enclosures damaged by the hurricanes, allowing it to pay significant discounts to replace the screens. Attorneys for the plaintiffs at Lee & Amtzis and Kopelman & Blankman had argued that State Farm’s policy directly contravened the language of the policyholders’ agreements.
“The settlement approved by the court is significant in that more than 12,000 State Farm policyholders in Florida will be made completely whole,” said Eric Lee, lead counsel for the plaintiffs. “There have been many lawsuits against insurance companies related to hurricane damage, but few that have resulted in a complete recovery of the plaintiffs’ damages.”
The lawsuit was brought by Plaintiff Jason Hammett who instituted an action in the Circuit Court of the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County on February 6, 2006.
Hammett brought claims on behalf of himself and all Florida homeowners who submitted claims to State Farm for damages to screening enclosures during hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005.
After more than a year, the parties agreed to a settlement that stipulates State Farm will:
-Pay more than 12,000 policyholders 100 percent of the damages claimed in this class action.
-Establish a fund of nearly $6.79 million to make payments to class members.
-Agree to pay the costs of administering the settlement and all attorneys’ fees and other expenses in addition to the payments to class members.
-Pay class members checks within 60 days after the final judgment has been entered (July 21, 2007).
Source: Business Wire
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