U.S. top court rules against State Farm in hurricane fraud case

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 06, 2016 10:52 AM

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a jury verdict that found State Farm defrauded the U.S. government when the insurance company assessed damage caused by Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf of Mexico coast in 2005.

The court ruled 8-0 in rejecting State Farm's challenge to a 2015 lower court ruling upholding the verdict in a 2006 lawsuit brought by two whistleblowers, sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby, under the False Claims Act, which lets people sue on behalf of the government over allegations it has been defrauded.

The suit accused the Bloomington, Illinois-based company of improperly seeking to foist the costs of covering Katrina-related damage to a Biloxi, Mississippi home onto the government rather than covering the costs itself.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)