Engineer questions State Farm’s ethics during testimony

The cost to return the first floor of a North Biloxi home to its pre-Hurricane Katrina condition would have been $525,670, a contractor testified in federal court Thursday for State Farm Fire & Casualty Co.

State Farm is trying to show Katrina’s water damage far exceeded the $250,000 flood-policy limits the company decided the National Flood Insurance Program should pay on the house, then owned by policyholders Thomas and Pamela McIntosh. State Farm is presenting its defense in U.S. District Court during the second week of Rigsby v. State Farm, a whistle-blower lawsuit.

Former insurance adjusters Cori and Kerri Rigsby accuse State Farm of committing fraud against the federal government by shifting wind losses the company should have paid to flooding, which NFIP covers. The Rigsbys also allege State Farm conspired with two engineering firms to create fraudulent damage reports. Pretrial rulings have confined the case to State Farm’s handling of the McIntosh claim, which Kerri Rigsby helped adjust.

Sun Herald
4/5/13