Judge dismisses motion to broaden case

A judge refused a whistleblower lawsuit to expand to include other properties. (Photo: MGN Online)
A judge refused a whistleblower lawsuit to expand to include other properties. (Photo: MGN Online)

GULFPORT, Miss. (AP) - A federal judge has awarded legal fees and damages against State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. in a whistleblower lawsuit that resulted in a jury's finding that the insurer defrauded the government involving a policyholder claim after Hurricane Katrina.

However, the judge refused to allow sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby of Ocean Springs, Miss., to initiate investigations into claims on other properties insured by State Farm.

The Sun Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1fz1eGG ) the judge ruled the whistleblower law limits a lawsuit to a claim for which the Rigsbys were able to offer independent, personal knowledge.

The Rigsbys worked for a contractor to assess damage after the hurricane.

A jury found State Farm avoided paying a policyholder's wind losses by blaming damage on storm surge, which is covered by federal flood insurance.

Information from: The Sun Herald, http://www.sunherald.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.