Class action against Farmers due in court Dec. 16

Steve Gonzalez Dec. 6, 2005, 5:10am

Madison County Circuit Judge Nicholas Byron will hear all pending motions in a four-year-old class action case against Farmers Insurance on Dec. 16.

Georgia Edwards filed suit in February 2001 alleging that Farmers Insurance short changes customers who total their vehicles. She claims that Farmers uses CCC Information Services' software to defraud its customers and avoid paying the actual cash value of a totaled vehicle.

Edwards is represented by the Lakin Law Firm of Wood River. Farmers is represented by Burroughs, Hepler and Broom of Edwardsville.

Chicago-based CCC was named, but dropped from the lawsuit in March 2002. It sells software that insurance companies use to track claims and set valuations.

Farmers Insurance was founded in 1928 as an automobile insurance provider.

Since then, it has grown to become the nation's third largest writer of automobile and home insurance. Based in Los Angeles, Farmers employs more than 18,000 people in 41 states and serves some 15 million customers.

The motions Byron will hear deal with Edwards wanting to amend her complaint for the fourth time. Farmers filed a motion objecting to Edwards filing a fourth amended complaint.

Byron will hear the arguments at 9 a.m.

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