A political dispute involving the makeup of the Auburn University board of trustees has led to an unusual $15.2 million invasion-of-privacy verdict against an Alabama insurance company and two of its executives.

The plaintiff, Alabama state Senator Lowell Barron, charged that defendants Alabama Farmers Federation; its affiliate, Alfa Mutual Insurance Co.; and Alfa executives Goodwin Myrick and John Dorrill hired private investigators to dig up dirt on him after Barron opposed the nomination of Alfa vice president Phil Richardson to the Auburn board.

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