Oingo Boingo Keyboardist and Music Producer Files Insurance Bad Faith Lawsuit Against State Farm Over Woolsey Fire Coverage
Malibu, CA – April 30, 2020 – After watching the Woolsey fire destroy their home of 20 years and witnesses their son’s valiant efforts to save their community, Richard and Linda Gibbs filed an insurance bad faith lawsuit against State Farm alleging the insurance giant unreasonably and deliberately delayed and underpaid the couple’s homeowner’s insurance claim. They also allege their home was deliberately underinsured, making it impossible for them to rebuild.
In addition to their home, every original score Mr. Gibbs had ever written was destroyed in the fire, which included the scores to such productions as Dr. Doolittle, Battlestar Galactica and Queen of the Damned. The total value of the scores and original recordings were assessed at a little over $2 million. State Farm refused to pay out these claims entirely, having falsely classified them.
The Gibbs purchased a home in Malibu in 1997 which had a main house, a guest house and swimming pool among other features. That same year, they purchased insurance with State Farm covering the entire property. The couple eventually tore down the guest house and built a state-of-the-art music studio they called Woodshed Recording which has hosted the talents of countless iconic musicians over the years including Coldplay, U2, Chance the Rapper, Lady Gaga, Barbra Streisand and others. Mr. Gibbs, original keyboardist for the seminal band Oingo Boingo, used his own money as a film and television composer to build Woodshed Recording.
“We paid our premiums for decades and now, when we needed State Farm the most, our insurance company has abandoned us,” said Mr. Gibbs. “Had my wife not spent years handling the permaculture in the landscaping around our studio, a large piece of my life’s work would have gone up in flames as well without any coverage or sympathy from our insurer.”
On November 9, 2018, the Gibbs’ main house burned to the ground in the Woolsey Fire. Mr. Gibbs’s son even helped put together a community fire-fighting team to help preserve what homes they could, as the entire community was burned to the ground in this tragic fire.
However, even with the California Department of Insurance helping to expedite claims, State Farm has made little to no effort over the last 16 months to adequately handle these claims. The couple submitted a detailed inventory list and provided two estimates of the cost to rebuild the property, but to no avail. State Farm stands accused of consciously delaying the Dibbs’ claim and others like it to conserve its cash reserves. The Gibbs are unable to even begin rebuilding their home and have suffered severe emotional distress as a result.
“My clients are well known and connected in both their local community and the Los Angeles music community. Their home was a creative space for the world’s most popular artists and State Farm has effectively shut this down with its refusal to abide by the terms of its own policy,” said attorney Samuel Bruchey.
To read the complaint go to: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1RtfTd3npZgYA20OLytrjEIvP0ElSggYw/view
To see video of the Gibbs’ property after the fire go to: https://vimeo.com/354312307
The case is Richard and Linda Gibbs v. State Farm General Insurance, Los Angeles Superior Court, Case No. 20STCV10478.
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