Attorney General files lawsuit against six large insurance companies alleging price-fixing
Attorney General Charles Foti filed a lawsuit in Orleans Parish Civil District Court late Wednesday alleging collusion, price-fixing and anti-trust violations by six major insurance companies – including Allstate and State Farm – as well as the firms that manufacture their claims-processing software, and the companies that offer them advice or collect their data.
The suit, filed in conjunction with several outside law firms deep in Katrina litigation, is based on the work of an ongoing investigation by the Louisiana Attorney General, who lost his re-election bid in the October 20 primary.
Charles FotiIt says that these groups conspired to manipulate commerce for their own enrichment “by rigging the value of policyholder claims and raiding the premiums held in trust by their companies” and that companies “coerced their policyholders into settling their claims of damages for less than their value by editing engineering reports, by delaying payment and by forcing policyholders to litigate claims to receive full value.”
Bob Hartwig, an economist who is president of the Insurance Information Institute trade group, said that Foti’s accusations are baseless.