The $32M Question: How Should Insurers Approach First-Party Claims? There are at least 32 million reasons why insurance companies should take mold claims very seriously.

In May 2001, a Texas jury awarded Melinda Ballard $32 million, finding Farmers Insurance Company had committed bad faith in handling a first-party mold claim in Ballard v. Fire Ins. Exch. Prior to the jury verdict, Farmers had spent over a million dollars in an attempt to address the mold problems in the Ballard residence.

Melinda Ballard initially received more than $100,000 from Farmers to repair water damage to her 22-room mansion. The water damage was allegedly not properly addressed and members of the Ballard family subsequently began experiencing dizziness and memory loss.

On her own initiative, Ms. Ballard had the home checked by a mold expert. After a determination that the home was infected with several harmful molds, the Ballard family vacated the home.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free
PropertyCasualty360 Digital Reader.


  • All news coverage, best practices, and in-depth analysis.
  • Educational webcasts, resources from industry leaders, and informative newsletters.
  • Other award-winning websites including and

Already have an account?



Join PropertyCasualty360

Don’t miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed decisions for your P&C insurance business. Join now!

  • Unlimited access to - your roadmap to thriving in a disrupted environment
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including, and
  • Exclusive discounts on PropertyCasualty360, National Underwriter, Claims and ALM events

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join PropertyCasualty360

Copyright © 2022 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.