State Farm sues Miss. attorney general over criminal probe

State Farm filed its lawsuit against Hood in September, less than five months after Hood sued the company for failing to honor the same January agreement for a mass settlement of claims.

In a written statement Friday, Hood accused State Farm of trying to “misuse the federal court to stop a state grand jury investigation.”

“It is unfortunate that they have publicly revealed the existence of this investigation for political gain,” he said. “I will continue doing my job in a professional manner and will allow the cases to be resolved by the courts.”

On Friday, U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael Parker in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, granted State Farm’s request to unseal the complaint, over Hood’s objections.

In a three-page ruling, Parker said he is “unconvinced that there is anything filed in the record thus far that would reveal the specifics of any grand jury proceedings.”

The document was unsealed less than a week before Mississippi’s general election, in which Hood is seeking a second term.

Hood “seeks to chill State Farm’s First Amendment rights of free speech and association by pursuing a vindictive and retaliatory investigation of State Farm,” the suit claims.

International Herald Tribune
11/2/7