State Farm Insurance ripped off a widow & two little girls after a fire & the death of their husband & father. State Farm neglected to honor the claim & acted in Bad Faith. State Farm delayed in adjusting the claim for a year & a half, refused to pay for protecting the home, repairing it, debris removal, storage of personal property, & refused to provide a temporary home for the remaining Russell Family as promised in the Russell's Insurance Policy with State Farm.
Eventually, the roof fell in & the house flooded. This is the mess that State Farm left the Mom & little girls to deal with: Please Click Link Here. State Farm entered into a secret arrangement with the bank, and paid them off, leaving the Russell Family homeless & caused a loss of the Family's equity in the home.
Of course, State Farm did not want a jury to hear what they did to the Russells, & worked hard & dirty against the widow & little girls for 7 years. They eventually kept the case out of court by weaseling out on a technicality unrelated to the validity of the claim & by threatening a Judge involved.
State Farm should voluntarily act in good faith & honor contracts with customers. Buying Judges & slick legal maneuvering is not being a "Good Neighbor" & is not acting in good faith. Ripping off a widow & two little girls is not acceptable & will not be tolerated. State Farm Insurance handled the Russell claim badly, should accept responsibility for doing so. Weaseling out of responsibility after bungling a claim does not absolve State Farm of responsibility for damaging the Russell Family.
We demand that State Farm Insurance apologize to the Russell Family NOW & make the Russell Family whole again by replacing the Russell Family Home.
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Who is the Russell Family? Meet Jeff, Angela, & the Russell Girls: Please Click Link Here.
Complete story here:
Our home in Cahaba Heights (Birmingham, AL) was destroyed by Fire in 2005.
I was away, caring for my Mom in FL, who was terminally ill, and my young girls. On Feb 24th, 2005 I got a phone call....There had been a fire, and my husband, the girls Dad, had died. We contacted State Farm, our Insurer, and notified them of the tragedy.
Instead of quickly adjusting the loss, by rebuilding our home, paying for another temporary home, and paying for our personal property, AS PROMISED IN OUR POLICY, State Farm weaseled out of rebuilding my home and took actions to make sure I was destroyed mentally, emotionally, psychologically, and financially.
State Farm employee, Fred Williams, started vicious rumors about me at my business, at my husbands business, and to friends and neighbors. The rumors he started with his insensitive implications resulted in threats on my life. I became afraid for my safety, and my daughters' safety.
I lived in fear that year, and the next, having nightmares caused by the horrible rumors that State Farm had propagated. I woke up many nights from nightmares that I had killed someone, or that I was being blamed for killing someone.
I later learned that Fred Williams was an ex FBI agent. Maybe that explains why he treated me like a criminal, rather than a good customer who had just suffered a horrific tragedy.
Fred Williams asked me in April 2005, to come to Bimingham for an "Examination Under Oath". I asked him, "When do you want me to be there?" & he said "Whenever. Just let me know whenever you will be in town. You don't have to come here just for this." He refused to give me a date or appointment at that time. He never told me that it would delay our claim. Later, State Farm claimed that *I* did not cooperate.
He was very cunning. He told me in April & August, 2005 (more than once) to NOT fill out a Proof of Loss about rebuilding the house. He said: "Just give us an estimate to rebuild it", which I did. Little did I know that later, State Farm would claim that I never asked them to rebuild the house. At the time, I was naive and trusted State Farm, and did what Fred Williams told me to do. What a huge mistake. It's obvious in retrospect that he set it up that way from the start in order for State Farm to save money by NOT rebuilding my house.
Fred Williams yelled at me on the phone when I called and asked them to honor the policy they sold me. Not only was he not helpful, he was mean and abusive. I called State Farm and complained but was still forced to deal with him. Fred Williams also refused to answer questions on how to make the claim and fill out State Farm's Inventory and Proof of Loss forms. (I had never made any kind of insurance claim before this) Again and again, I have seen that Fred Williams intentionally misled me, or was unhelpful in order to be able to claim later that "I did not cooperate" with State Farm.
These are just a few examples of how the powerful and experienced State Farm effortlessly orchestrated the events. State Farm used deception and intimidation, invoking fear and despair, all in their efforts to deter me from making a claim. Their actions were carefully calculated so they would later be able to shift the blame on me. It was a smooth, sophisticated performance by State Farm. After all, State Farm has years of experience manipulating the customer, then shifting the blame, all in order to avoid paying. I had never made any kind of insurance claim before, not even a car accident, and have never since.
State Farm refused to pay our "additional living expenses" as promised in our policy, or provide another Birmingham home, hotel, or temporary apartment. I was not able to be present in Birmingham to operate my business, and we suffered financially. As a result of State Farm's failure to perform I lost my business & ONLY source of income to support my children.
My phone records show over 80 calls to State Farm. (SEE PHONE LOG) It should be apparent to anyone that I was frantically trying to get State Farm to DO THEIR JOB, as promised in my policy. Fred Williams actually claimed, later on, that I was "hard to get hold of". (READ EXCERPTS FROM FRED WILLIAMS DEPOSITION)
Is calling State Farm 80 times being "hard to get hold of "? Do State Farm, Fred Williams, and Lloyd Renfrow *really* expect anyone to believe that I called "just to talk about the weather" over 80 times? What pathetic liars.
It's been over seven years now, and State Farm is still lying, shifting blame. State Farm weaseled out of going to trial on technicalities that are unrelated to the validity of our claim. State Farm did not want a Jury to hear about what they did to us, & even went so far as to threaten a Judge in our case. (State Farm has conceded that it was a valid claim) They claimed I caused delays that they intentionally caused. They told me I didn't need a lawyer. Now I know why. They were delighted that I had little to no guidance or advice. State Farm intentionally gave the Probate Court false statements & misleading information, thus causing delays in Probate. It cost me over $8,000. to attempt to straighten out the mess created by State Farm's false statements. I eventually had to give up trying, as we were homeless by then, and were forced to live in a condemned house. I was forced to spend thousands of dollars I can't afford traveling to depositions given by State Farm, in which a huge table full of lawyers grilled me for 14 hours, day after day. (Please see LINK to example of State Farm's "Mad Dog" Legal Tactics)
State Farm has dragged me over the coals to get rid of me. I'm not going away. I want everyone to know what an evil, opportunistic predator State Farm really is. We lost our husband & father, our house, & everything in it at once. I lost my Mom, & then my business. I became sick & depressed, and unable to function. State Farm took advantage of us at our worst moment, and I resent them for it. After all, the reason we buy insurance in the first place is so that we won't completely fall on our face after a tragedy or loss. It's outrageous that State Farm made the experience even WORSE instead of helping. I still have not recovered completely from their actions.
I would not have believed this could happen, had this not happened to us. I was naive and trusting, and foolishly believed State Farm's advertising. All the years of hard work was wasted. The house that was in Jeff's family for over 40 years, gone. The girls and I have been forced to start over again with nothing.
My policy promised to perform within 60 days. State Farm FAILED US miserably.
Sincerely, Angela Russell & the Russell Children
- CEO of State Farm Insurance
Ed Rust, Jr
- State Farm Help
- Angela Guilford
I just signed the following petition at Change.org:
State Farm must apologize to the Russell Family & make them whole.
State Farm should voluntarily act in good faith & honor contracts with customers. Ripping off a widow & two little girls is not acceptable & will not be tolerated. State Farm Insurance handled the Russell claim badly, should accept responsibility for doing so. Weaseling out of responsibility after bungling a claim does not absolve State Farm of responsibility for harming the Russell Family. Buying Judges & slick legal maneuvering is not being a "Good Neighbor" & is not acting in good faith. We demand that State Farm Insurance apologize to the Russell Family & make them "whole again" by replacing the Russell Family Home. Do the right thing, & do it now.
Angela Guilford started this petition with a single signature, and now has 483 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.