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Hopkins Statement on Hood State Farm...

Hopkins Statement on Hood State Farm Suit

By: Magnolia Tribune - June 13, 2007

Hopkins Statement on Hood State Farm Suit

Former Special Assistant Attorney General and retired Major General Al Hopkins
released the following statement in response to yesterday’s announcement by Attorney General Jim Hood
that he has filed a new, second lawsuit against State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. in Hinds County Circuit
Court. Hood’s most recent suit comes after Judge L.T. Senter of the US District Court for the Southern
District of Mississippi dismissed Hood’s settlement of his first lawsuit against State Farm over concerns
that it gave State Farm too much control over the arbitration process and unfairly combined the
policyholders as a single class, despite the different ways their homes were affected by the storm.

“As a Gulf Coast resident and a Mississippian, I read with interest the filing of the new State Farm suit by
the Attorney General, because getting the case right is critical to the victims. Mississippians expect more
from their Attorney General than headlines, they expect the Attorney General to get the case right so that
can recover their homes and daily lives. If Attorney General Hood had handled the suit properly the first
time, Judge Senter would not have rejected the settlement, our fellow Mississippians would be that much
closer to getting the relief that they deserve, and there would be no need for this suit. Attorney General
Hood only files it now because he botched it the first time, causing Mississippians to get delays in their
relief, and now he’s desperate to get headlines for the political race he is in. The people it hurts the most
are those who’ve waited the longest for relief.

“An experienced lawyer would simply continue the case until the agreement was fulfilled. Once the
agreement was fulfilled, the case could be safely dismissed with prejudice. Any crimes that were
committed should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Mississippians deserve no less. Yet, a
federal court found Hood’s settlement to be unfair to policyholders—our fellow Mississippians—and the
Attorney General has dismissed his criminal case. So Attorney General Hood mishandled the case,
obtained an unfair result, and dismissed his criminal case. It appears he lost on all accounts.

“Clearly, in his first attempt he was more interested in recovering the $5 million for his own office’s
expenses from the State Farm settlement than in recovering the losses to the people of South Mississippi.
That’s why it’s time for Mississippi to get the politics out of the Attorney General’s office and hire a new
lawyer with experience whose sole ambition is justice for all Mississippians.”

Al Hopkins Campaign Press Release

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This article was produced by Magnolia Tribune staff.