The “Beverly Hills: 90210” actress lives in Malibu, and there were initial reports in November that her home had been destroyed. Doherty, however, clarified in a Nov. 11 post on Instagram, saying that “Our house is fine.”
But in her lawsuit, filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Doherty states that the house and surrounding property were “severely damaged” by fire and smoke. The suit accuses Doherty’s insurer, State Farm, of dragging its feet and subjecting her to a burdensome “inquisition” into her claim.
According to the suit, Doherty was out of the country when the fire swept through Malibu, and was prevented from returning due to an evacuation order. Doherty filed an insurance claim to compensate her for having to stay in a hotel and seek other accommodations.
She alleges that the State Farm adjuster took more than a week to respond, and then requested voluminous receipts documenting her living expenses for the previous three months, on the grounds that her policy would only cover extra costs attributable to the fire.
“This was incredibly distressing to Ms. Doherty, who was and is currently undergoing invasive cancer treatment, including chemo and radiation therapy,” the lawsuit states.
Doherty states that in her condition, she is unable to risk exposure to “smoke, smoke-damaged property and other airborne toxins resulting from the Woolsey Fire,” and has thus been living in a rental property.
She alleges that she has been paying out of pocket for costs that are covered by her policy, while State Farm conducts a “lengthy, adversarial, inquisition-style claim investigation.” She also alleges that the insurer has searched for “hyper-technical reasons to deny coverage.”
On Nov. 9, Doherty posted an image of her wedding, with the caption, “This place. I got married there… It’s gone. Fire has taken it away.”
The post led some outlets to include her on a list of celebrities whose homes had been damaged by the fire. She corrected them in the Nov. 11 post, writing “Our house is fine… Contrary to news reports,” and explaining that she had been referring to her best friend’s house.