Attorneys C. Brooks Cutter and John R. Parker, Jr. of Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP, along with co-counsel Robert Buccola at Dreyer Babich Buccola Wood Campora LLP are prosecuting a class action lawsuit against the
State Farm Insurance Company on behalf of California policyholders in the Superior Court of the County of Santa Clara (
Doan v. State Farm, Case No. 108CV129264).
By court order, 7,000 policyholders of State Farm Insurance Insurance Company have received letters requesting permission to release information regarding a personal property claim (from, e.g., fire or water damage, or theft).
The letter seeks consent to allow KCR attorneys to review information contained in the policyholder’s file that may be relevant to the class action.
In some cases,
the review may reveal that a policyholder received less compensation for their claim than California law provides.
All such information is and would continue to be subject to the court order, which prohibits the use or disclosure of the policyholder’s information for any purpose other than this law suit.
By California law, under California Insurance Code Section 2051, insurance companies must take into account the actual physical condition of lost or damaged property (at the time of the loss) as a factor when determining depreciation, if any, rather than simply assigning an arbitrary value of depreciation based on nothing more than the age of the item.
Plaintiff alleges that State Farm took advantage of policyholders who submitted personal property claims by failing to adhere to the law when determining the adjusted value of the loss.
Plaintiff further contends that State Farm has routinely and systematically undervalued property based on age without accounting for -- or attempting to discover -- the actual condition of the property at the time of the loss.
Attorney John Parker puts the case in simple, direct terms,
"Our discovery to date indicates that State Farm has been systematically shorting its policyholders and ignoring its obligation to calculate depreciation fairly under California law. The bottom line is that State Farm appears to be enriching itself at the expense of its policyholders.”
The suit seeks compensation for all affected State Farm policyholders and also injunctive relief (a court order) to change State Farm’s business practices.
What to do if you are a State Farm Policyholder
If you are a State Farm (California) policyholder who made a personal property claim against a homeowners or commercial property insurance policy on or after December 31, 2004, contact our associate
Lauren Manning by calling (888) 285-3333, or submit your contact information via the online contact form on this page.
Doan v. State Farm - Class Action filed against State Farm Insurance Company on behalf of policyholders who submitted personal property claims on, or after, December 31, 2004.