State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. has agreed to pay the federal government $100 million for potential liability over its handling of flood insurance claims after Hurricane Katrina, settling a lawsuit that two whistleblowers filed against the company more than 16 years ago.
Other terms of the settlement remained confidential in the whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2006 by former claims adjusters and sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby, who lived in Ocean Springs at the time.
State Farm also agreed to dismiss counterclaims it filed against the sisters, alleging that they breached their employment agreements and violated other laws by taking company documents while working as independent adjusters.
The cases have been dismissed with prejudice, meaning they can’t be filed again, by U.S. District Court Judge Sul Ozerden in Gulfport.
State Farm and the Rigsbys released a statement acknowledging the settlement, saying, ‘The parties are pleased to bring an end to this 16-year litigation.’ Insurance expert Robert Hartwig, director of the University of South Carolina’s Center for Risk and Uncertainty Management, called the settlement ‘unprecedented.’