State Farm settles for $250m

At federal court in East St. Louis, Missouri, State Farm and a class of plaintiffs agreed to settle protracted RICO litigation for $250m on the opening day of the trial, according to Madison – St Claire Record.

Claims against co-defendants William Shepherd, counsel for State Farm, and Ed Murnane have been dismissed and will not bear any settlement costs.

The cause for settlement came by plaintiffs’ filing of a second amended complaint that added a count of unjust enrichment ‘to end the entire litigation with the class,’ wrote State Farm attorney Ronald Safer of Chicago.

Plaintiffs’ counsel Robert Nelson of Lieff Cabraser in San Francisco wrote in support of the agreement that aside from attorney fees and costs, and costs of notice and settlement administration, all the monies would go to class members.

The proposal doesn’t outline how much class counsel will receive in fees, but states that defendants are leaving the award amount to the discretion of the court. If plaintiff attorneys were to receive 30% of the settlement value, $82.5m would be divided among roughly 15 plaintiff law firms.