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Judge rules against insurer over tornado claims

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WOODWARD, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma judge says Farmers Insurance and a subsidiary must pay a total of $15 million to three plaintiffs whose homes were damaged in the 2012 Woodward tornado.

District Judge Ray Dean Linder ruled in favor of three plaintiffs who filed breach of contract lawsuits against Farmers Insurance and Foremost Insurance Group. The lawsuit alleged that the insurance companies underpaid claims and used adjusters that they knew would offer low estimates.

In his decision last week, Linder said he was "shocked at the disservice" to the three plaintiffs in the case and awarded each plaintiff $2 million for bad faith and breach of duty and $3 million each in punitive damages.

A spokesman for Farmers Insurance says the company is reviewing the decision and is evaluating its next step.

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