Allegations of Pressuring Engineers Groundless
Recent media reports have claimed that State Farm pressured a structural engineering firm to alter reports on Hurricane Katrina claims.
State Farm® provided critical details to the reporters who inquired about this story which demonstrated the allegation is groundless. Unfortunately, those details were not used in the stories.
State Farm had simply asked the engineering firm – Forensic Analysis Engineering of Raleigh, N.C. – to provide details that supported the conclusions it had made.
Reporters who called State Farm on April 10 were given copies of a publicly filed deposition from Bob Kochan, president of Forensic Analysis Engineering, in which Kochan states State Farm had valid complaints. The reporters were told that State Farm employees are committed to conducting themselves in an ethical and appropriate manner, and any suggestion to the contrary is wrong.
Kochan is quoted in the deposition saying, “(State Farm) made a very specific point of saying the information that we supplied with our report didn’t technically justify the conclusions.” Kochan also said State Farm accepted a number of reports that stated wind damaged a home before water arrived.
The former Forensic Analysis employee interviewed by the Associated Press for its story, Randy Down, admitted to relying on “secondhand” information and was never directly involved with Forensic’s work on State Farm Katrina claims.