A panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a jury’s finding in a whistle-blower lawsuit that State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. committed fraud against the federal government and submitted a false record to support fraud after Hurricane Katrina.
Further, the panel has ordered the case sent back to U.S. District Court in Gulfport for investigation of other State Farm Katrina claims by the whistle blowers, sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby, and their legal team. The case was limited at trial to one claim, that of Thomas and Pamela McIntosh of Biloxi.
The decision comes almost 10 years after Katrina, which devastated the Mississippi Coast on Aug. 29, 2005. In adjusting the loss on a Biloxi home, a federal jury found that State Farm hit policy limits on flood damage the federal government covers in order to minimize damage the insurance company would have to cover for wind losses. The Rigsbys, who are from Ocean Springs, were working at the time as independent adjusters for State Farm.