A six-week trial in Hamilton County Court ended yesterday afternoon with the award of a $14.5 million jury verdict for Joseph Radcliff and his restoration company, CPM Construction of Indiana, against State Farm Insurance (State Farm Fire & Casualty Company v. Joseph Martin Radcliff, et al., Cause No. 29D01-0810-CT-1281 – Hamilton Co. Superior Court No. 1).
State Farm had filed suit for insurance fraud and RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) claims against Radcliff and CPM. The case arose out of work done by Radcliff and CPM following the April 2006 hailstorm. Radcliff and CPM’s allegations were that after State Farm received negative publicity in the Indianapolis media for denying hail damage claims, State Farm made unfounded claims of fraud against Radcliff and instigated the filing of felony charges against him. Those charges were dismissed by the Marion County Prosecutor, but the negative publicity resulted in Radcliff’s personal reputation and business being destroyed.
Not only did the jury find that State Farm’s claims against Radcliff were baseless, but they also found that the Radcliff’s allegations of being defamed by State Farm were true. The jury ordered State Farm to pay Radcliff $14.5 million.
Radcliff was represented by Will Riley, lead trial counsel of the law firm Price Waicukauski & Riley, LLC along with attorneys Joe Williams, James Piatt and Jamie Kendall of the same firm and Mark McKinzie, Partner in the law firm Riley Bennett & Egloff LLP.
Riley stated, “It was a tribute to the American jury system that one man can take on the largest insurance company in the nation and win.” McKinzie agreed, stating “This sends a strong signal to Bloomington, Illinois that Hoosiers will not put up with this sort of conduct.” Radcliff commented “I am grateful to those who believed in me and helped me get the true facts before the jury and to the jury for giving me, and my failed company, justice.”