Indiana Court Upholds $14.5M Jury Award in Hail Case Created by kblakeslee on 4/11/2013 5:42:25 PM
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ The Indiana Court of Appeals has affirmed a $14.5 million jury award against State Farm Fire & Casualty Company for accusing a contractor of faking hail damage to get money for repairs.
The court Thursday unanimously upheld the award to Joseph Radcliff. The contractor was charged with 14 felony counts including insurance fraud following a massive 2006 hailstorm, but the charges were later dropped in an agreement with prosecutors.
State Farm then sued Radcliff for alleged insurance fraud, and he countersued for defamation. In 2011, a Hamilton County jury awarded him $14.5 million and State Farm appealed. The insurer argued the damage award was excessive and Radcliff hadn't proven actual malice.
State Farm said in a statement that it was disappointed and reviewing its options.