BLOOMINGTON - State Farm Insurance Cos. has not bought favors from the judicial system, the Bloomington-based insurer said in documents filed with the U.S. Supreme Court last week.

Seeking $1 billion in restitution from State Farm, plaintiffs petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court last month to hear a case regarding non-manufactured parts that State Farm used to repair damaged vehicles.

The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in favor of State Farm in August, but the plaintiffs say Justice Lloyd Karmeier should have recused himself from the case because he received campaign donations from groups affiliated with State Farm, including both the U.S. and Illinois chambers of commerce.

State Farm contends there is no direct tie to State Farm and Karmeier's campaign fund.

"The key issue is that State Farm has a long-standing policy that we don't contribute to political campaigns. We don't have a political action committee," said spokesman Phil Supple.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs did not return calls to The Pantagraph.

The class-action suit accuses State Farm of consumer fraud and breach of contract because the company was not repairing damaged vehicles with manufacturers' parts. The suit affected 4.7 million policyholders in 48 states.

An appellate court ordered State Farm pay $1 billion in restitution, but the Illinois Supreme Court overturned the ruling.

The Supreme Court said these plaintiffs could not file as a group because they have varying insurance policies in several states with different insurance laws. The court also said the lone Illinois plaintiff failed to prove he suffered actual damages from the parts in question.

The U.S. Supreme Court has not said whether or not it will hear the case.

On Tuesday, three public interest groups asked the state to investigate Karmeier's campaign fund and potential violations of the state judicial code of conduct. State Farm was not accused of any wrongdoing in the investigation.


Load comments