LOS ANGELES (CN) – One thousand two hundred homeowners claim that Farmers Insurance Group denied or lowballed valid claims on homes damaged by the 2009 wildfires in Southern California. The homeowners say that Farmers “failed to properly handle and adjust plaintiffs’ claims in good faith and, in fact, instituted claims practices designed to improperly deny and/or minimize valid claims, placing their own financial interest above that of their policyholders, in violation of their contractual obligations.”
The homeowners accuse Farmers of bad faith, breach of contract and unfair business practices, in Superior Court.
The first 29 pages of the 135-page complaint list the names of the 1,201 plaintiffs, or plaintiff couples. Their addresses and policy numbers take up the next 77 pages.
“The plaintiffs seek damages stemming from Farmer’s bad faith denial and/or underpayment of valid claims resulting from fire, soot, ash, char and wind damages sustained in the 2009 Southern California wildfires,” the complaint states.
The owners of the 1,201 homes say that Farmers hired biased consultants who told them that the damage to their homes was below a required threshold, then denied or minimized their compensation.
The fires burned more than 336,000 acres from July through late November. The plaintiffs’ homes were in Glendale, Sylmar, Altadena, La Crescenta, and elsewhere.
They seek compensatory and punitive damages, restitution and disgorgement for breach of contract, breach of good faith and unfair business practices.
They are represented by Joshua Haffner with Kabateck Brown & Kellner.