Actor Shannen Doherty was awarded $6.3 million by a federal jury in Los Angeles on Monday in a lawsuit alleging that State Farm did not pay her enough for damage to her house in a 2018 California wildfire.
The jury found that the failures in compensating her were “unreasonable and without proper cause.” The verdict covers damages to Doherty’s house and property, emotional distress and attorney’s fees.
“We thank the members of the jury for their thoughtful consideration of Shannen’s case,” Doherty’s attorney Devin McRae said in a statement. "This should send a message to State Farm and other institutions that they should not forget they are dealing with human beings.”
Doherty sued State Farm in 2019, claiming she was forced to pay herself after the devastation of her house in the 2018 Woolsey fire.
She had announced in February 2020 that her 2015 diagnosed breast cancer had returned and progressed to stage 4. The information was made public in legal documents for the lawsuit.
"I'd rather people hear it from me," she said during a "Good Morning America" interview. "I don't want it to be twisted; I don't want it to be a court document. I want it to be real and authentic, and I want to control the narrative. I want people to know from me."
USA Today obtained a court document in 2020 in which Doherty's lawyers stated she "is dying of stage 4 terminal cancer. Instead of living out her remaining years peacefully in her home, Ms. Doherty remains displaced and battling with her insurance company".
State Farm rebuked the documents, saying it "reveals (the) plaintiff’s plan at trial to garner sympathy by her contention that State Farm must rebuild her entire house because she has breast cancer and COPD."
State Farm, on Monday, said, “We empathize with Ms. Doherty’s health and wish her the best. We are disappointed by the jury’s decision and respectfully disagree with it. We will explore all available legal options, including appealing the verdict.”