LOS ANGELES --
More than 1,000 policyholders whose homes were damaged in last year's devastating Station Fire sued Farmers Insurance group Tuesday saying their claims were never paid.The suit, which was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court
, said the insurance company denied or minimized claims as part of regular business practices to maximize profits.
Farmers Insurance spokesman Jerry Davies said he had not yet seen the court papers and had no comment.
The lawsuit seeked unspecific and punitive damages on behalf of the homeowners, whose residences sustained smoke, soot, ash, char, fire or wind damage.
The Station Fire, which broke out Aug. 26, 2009 and wasn't fully contained until Oct. 16, 2009, was the largest blaze in the history of the Angeles National Forest and Los Angeles County.
The fire burned 250 square miles, destroyed more than 200 structures, including 89 homes, wiped out the community of Hidden Springs and killed two Los Angeles County firefighters trying to protect their mountain camp.