State Farm Settles Rigged-Judge Auto Parts RICO Fraud Trial for $250 Million

State Farm Settles Rigged-Judge Auto Parts RICO Fraud Trial

Hale, et al. v. State Farm, No. 3:12-cv-00660 (S.D. Illinois) began over 20 years ago with a class action suit by State Farm insureds alleging State Farm wrongly replaced their post-accident vehicle parts with non-OEM in violation of the terms of their insurance policies. In 1999, an Illinois state court jury awarded plaintiffs $456 million for breach of contract by the company, and the trial judge added $730 million in punitive damages. An appellate court reduced the verdict to $1.056 billion, at that time one of the largest class-action verdicts in U.S. history. [Read more…]

State Farm Will Settle Rigged-Judge Trial for $250 Million

State Farm Will Settle Rigged-Judge Trial for $250 Million

Law360 has reported that on the same day trial was to begin in the case, State Farm has agreed to pay $250 million to settle the RICO lawsuit wherein plaintiffs alleged the company secretly paid millions to help elect an Illinois Supreme Court judge in order to overturn a billion-plus dollar judgment against it from a case originating back in 1997. [Read more…]

Fiat Chrysler & Bosch Try to Escape RICO Claims in Emissions Fraud Litigation

Fiat Chrysler & Bosch Try to Escape RICO Claims in Emissions Fraud Litigation

Fiat Chrysler and Bosch are trying to convince a federal judge in California to throw out RICO claims brought by drivers in multidistrict litigation centering on claims that the companies cheated on vehicle emissions testing. The companies argue that only regulators, and not the consumers bringing the current lawsuit, are entitled to relief under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, as the consumers who purchased affected vehicles were not direct victims of the alleged misconduct. U.S. District Court Judge Edward M. Chen seemed to disagree with the companies’ argument, noting that, “At the end of the day, they [the consumers] paid for a car that they didn’t get.” [Read more…]

Judge Holds Racketeering Lawsuit Against State Farm Over Election Manipulations Can Go Forward

Judge Holds Racketeering Lawsuit Against State Farm Over Election Manipulations Can Go Forward

Insurer is accused of secretly and improperly funding state judge’s campaign so it could get a $1 billion judgment against overturned

U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon has ruled that Lieff Cabraser’s class action lawsuit can proceed against State Farm over charges the insurer acted illegally in spending millions on a secret campaign to get a judge elected to state court who would then rule in State Farm’s favor in a massive pending fraud lawsuit. After losing an earlier lawsuit where it was hit with a $1.05 billion judgment, plaintiffs allege State Farm defrauded them of the judgment by “handpicking Judge Karmeier, covertly funneling millions into his campaign and lying about its support for the judge in communications to the Illinois Supreme Court and counsel for the class.” [Read more…]

State Farm Will Have to Face Campaign Funding Racketeering Claims

State Farm Will Have to Face Campaign Funding Racketeering Claims

In a victory for 4.7 million policyholders, a federal judge in Illinois has ruled that State Farm must face a class action lawsuit alleging the company entered into a secret scheme to seat a sympathetic judge to overturn a $1.05 billion judgment against the company for approving the use of lower-quality non-original equipment manufacturer (non-OEM) automotive parts for repairs to policyholder vehicles. The judge rejected State Farm’s argument that the suit over racketeering claims are an improper effort to relitigate claims already reviewed in the related state court case. [Read more…]