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Over the years I have been informed by some insurance companies that my client is making a fraudulent claim. Not that the claim may be fraudulent. Not that their investigation raises issues of potential fraud. When that has occurred I have asked for the proof. So far proof has been a close relative of suspicion. In several claims I have so completely disproved the suspicion that the insurance company agreed to pay beyond its limits of coverage because of the unsubstantiated fraud allegation. From Missouri comes the report that State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. has been ordered to pay a woman and her brother-in-law $4 million each as punitive damages because of reckless charges of fraud.

(Jennie Hampton and Marvin Vail v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., et al., No. 02CV211426, Mo. Cir., Jackson Co.).

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