Why was State Farm fishing for the date of that April meeting between the Rigsby sisters and the Qui tam Attorney’s referenced in Cori and Kerri Rigsby’s depositions? To set up today’s legal filings let me quote from Kerri Rigsby’s November 20, 2007 deposition on page 21.
Q. Did you access that file in March of 2006?
A. If you say I did, I believe you. I would not be surprised if I didn’t, but I don’t know if I looked at it in March 2006.
Q. Well, if I ask you to assume that you accessed that file on March 11th, 2006, starting at 2:20 in the afternoon, you wouldn’t deny that, would you?
A. I wouldn’t. I would not.
Why is this exchange important? The Rigsby sisters were not clear on the dates or whom they met with in the Spring of 2006. State Farm knew the exact date and time they accessed their system in March 2006. But there it is starting on page 181 of Kerri’s deposition no exact date was specified by State Farm’s lawyers because State Farm didn’t know the date. Let’s return to page 67 of Cori Rigsby’s deposition from November 19, 2007 to see more of the fishing expedition.
Q. Can you give me the date of this incident?
A. I believe that this occurred in March.
Q. March of ’06?
A. Yes, sir.
Q. Can you be more specific by day?
A. I can’t.
Q. Would your calendar refresh your recollection?
A. If I wrote it on there, it would have.
Q. Do you know whether you did?
A. I don’t know.
Today the reply filings are in from Team Qui Tam and we now know the exact dates. the Qui Tam lawyers met with Rigsby sisters on April 14 and 20th, 2006 and the US Attorney on April 21, 2006. Here is Tony DeWitt’s response to State Farm’s motion to Disqualify.
In the words of that old Lady in those Wendy’s commercial’s from back when, State Farm, “Where’s the beef?” This is Qui Tam ladies and gents and a whole new ball game.
Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny evidently has tangled with State Farm in the past. I noted another reason why State farm may have been inclined to play loose, fast and dirty with the rules in their motion to Disqualify. It can be found on page 3 of the Relators’ Response to State Farm’s Motion to Disqualify.
State Farm has leveled serious charges against Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson & Gorny, P.C. (BFRG) and its individual members as well as against Graves, Bartle and Marcus (“GBM”), which is answering in a separate response. Perhaps State Farm is still smarting from the multi-million dollar punitive damages verdict BFRG obtained against State Farm for malicious prosecution in Missouri courts, recently affirmed on appeal and final……..But the fact that BFRG obtained such a judicially affirmed verdict based on State Farm’s malicious conduct in another case certainly does not permit this Court to assume that all of State Farm’s conduct in every case is also malicious without independent evidence of that malice in each case. Just as this Court cannot presume such malice against State Farm here, this Court may not presume that the acts of other attorneys in other cases involving other parties are attributable to BFRG attorneys here without a factual basis for those claims.
We’ll have more on the Hampton case in another post.