Speed Reads

This doesn't look good

Victims of Hurricane Sandy claim damage reports were rewritten

Homeowners in New York and New Jersey believe their engineering reports were altered to minimize insurance payments after Hurricane Sandy damaged their homes in 2012.

Frank Johnston told The New York Times that his insurance carrier cited an engineering report claiming the problems with his home's foundation were "unrelated" to the storm. But Johnston says the original report said the hurricane was, indeed, to blame. Johnston then led a judicial panel for the Eastern District of New York, and the panel will schedule a hearing this week to review more than 500 reports homeowners believe have been altered.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is conducting an inquiry into the claims, and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman of New York has launched a criminal inquiry as well. The Times notes that the incident strengthens "long-held suspicions that insurers and their partners often collude against homeowners."