The Woodward News

March 4, 2014

Local residents awarded damages in lawsuit

Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — Three Woodward plaintiffs have been awarded around $5 million each in damages from insurance companies in a lawsuit related to the April 2012 Woodward tornado.

Sterling Parks, Jeff and Mary Sharpe and Kim and Linda Louthan were awarded actual damages, bad faith and breach of insurance damages and punitive damages by District Judge Ray Dean Linder after a recent nonjury trial in Woodward County District Court.

Linder announced his decision for the plaintiffs and the awarding of damages this week, ruling against Famers Insurance Company and Foremost Insurance.

Linder found the insurance companies breached their contract with the 3 plaintiffs.

The Louthans were awarded $224,202.82 in actual damages for breach of contract, the Sharps $245,967.58 and Parks $49,278.26.

The court also ruled the insurance company acted in bad faith.

"The court finds that it should and does at this time grant judgment for bad faith and breach of insurance duty to deal fairly and act in good faith with the defendants . . ." Linder wrote in his ruling.

As a result of that finding, the court awarded $2 million to each of the defendants.

The court also awarded $3 million to each of the defendants in punitive damages.

The plaintiffs were reprenseted by Marr Law Firm in Oklahoma City and by Mitchel, Gaston, Riffel & Riffel of Woodward.