Contractor Awarded $14.5M In Defamation Suit Against State Farm

Insurer Had Claimed Contractor Damaged Homes

A Hamilton County jury this week awarded a $14.5 million verdict to a contractor who sued State Farm in a defamation case.

Joseph Radcliff and CPM Construction sued the insurer after the company claimed that he had committed insurance fraud.

State Farm previously claimed that Radcliff intentionally damaged shingles after an April 2006 hailstorm in Indianapolis, costing the company $1.75 million, but the Marion County Prosecutor's Office dropped the charges against him in 2009.

"The negative publicity destroyed both Radcliff's personal reputation and CPM's business in Indiana," read a statement from Riley, Bennett and Egloff and Price, Waicukauski and Riley, who represented Radcliff.

Radcliff, who vowed in 2009 that he would rebuild his reputation, said he feels vindicated by the verdict.

"I am grateful to those who believe in me and helped me get the true facts before the jury and to the jury for giving me and my failed company justice," Radcliff said in a release from his attorneys.