Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Attorney General Jim Hood announced he is suing State Farm Fire and Casualty Company for failing to honor policies covering damage caused by Hurricane Katrina. Hood said Monday that State Farm had reneged on terms spelled out in a Jan. 23 settlement agreement.
"This agreement is in black and white," Hood said. "It's one little paragraph that they have to follow, and they just ignored it. ... All we want them to do is follow the letter of their agreement."
Hood initially dropped State Farm from his suit against other major insurance companies earlier this year after the company came to a settlement with policyholders. That settlement was rejected by U.S. District Court Judge L.T. Senter, but State Farm began mediation with Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale.
State Farm Vice President of Public Affairs Mike Fernandez said in a statement that Hood was more interested "in making headlines ... than making headway for the people of Mississippi."
"You have to wonder what would motivate (Hood) to disrupt an agreement that mirrors the one he was happy to announce (in January)," Fernandez said.
Hood said State Farm hasn't followed that agreement, however.
"Our court said go down to the coast and submit a payment program to pay these people what you owe them," Hood said, " ... and they have not done so. They went down there one time, and they've filed nothing else."