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State Farm seeks to bar judge

  Insurance  -   POSTED: 2007/02/23 19:12

State Farm is asking a federal judge to not be one to certify a class action lawsuit filed against the insurer over Hurricane Katrina damages. State Farm Insurance filed papers on Thursday to have US District Court Judge L.T. Senter, Jr. recused from certifying a class action lawsuit against the company over Hurricane Katrina damages.

The insurer questioned Senter's impartiality as fellow judge John Roper and Terri Brown, a federal court clerk, could be plaintiffs in the class action suit. Senter has already disqualified himself from hearing individual lawsuits involving the two co-workers. Senter, who has not yet ruled on the insurer's recusal motion, is scheduled to hear arguments concerning the State Farm class action bid on Wednesday.

In January, a Mississippi jury held State Farm liable for $2.5 million dollars in punitive damages for rejecting a Katrina claim that State Farm said was due to wind before the storm rather than the hurricane itself. In the same month, State Farm agreed to settle with hundreds of Mississipi homeowners, but Senter rejected the proposed settlement.


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