Lawsuit Against Farmers Given Class Action Status in Oregon

May 12, 2000

Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Harl H. Haas granted class-action certification on May 10 to a $5-million lawsuit against Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon. The suit, which was filed by attorney Richard Yugler, a partner in the law firm of Landye Bennett Blumstein, alleges that Farmers systematically reduced medical expense reimbursement to automobile policyholders.

In Mark Strawn v. Farmers Insurance Company of Oregon, the plaintiff claims that Farmers refused to pay medical providers for the portion of any medical bill that exceeded an 80th percentile when compared to other providers’ charges. With class-action certification, Oregonians who are insured with Farmers may seek reimbursement of medical expenses that were reduced on the basis of certain codes between Jan. 26, 1998 and July 31, 1999.

Yugler is now requesting that the lawsuit be amended to include Farmers’ subsidiaries Mid-Century Insurance Company and Truck Insurance Exchange. According to the Oregon Department of Insurance and Consumer Affairs, Farmers has the second highest number of consumer complaints out of all auto insurers in Oregon.

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