State Farm Tries to Change Engineering Reports to Avoid Paying Katrina Claims

E-mails are all over the news these days. First, there are the missing RNC emails (funny how evidence of criminal activity by Pubs goes missing, ain’t it?), and then there are the ones that aren’t.

Attorneys for homeowners suing State Farm Insurance Cos. after Hurricane Katrina have long accused the insurer of pressuring engineers to alter reports on storm-damaged homes so that policyholders’ claims could be denied.Now, some of these lawyers claim they have evidence to prove their allegation — internal e-mails from an engineering firm that helped State Farm adjust claims after the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane destroyed thousands of homes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

State Farm denies pressuring engineers to change their conclusions, but the e-mails, obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press, indicate the company was threatening to dismiss Raleigh, N.C.-based Forensic Analysis & Engineering Corp. less than two months after Katrina.

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