Life of a 6 Figure Cat Adjuster After Katrina

Since the latest round of depositions has the folks at Dunn Carney and Yall politics very excited with new revelations involving the sex lives of the Rigsby sisters I thought I’d post a picture of the working conditions these highly trained, licensed professionals had to work under on the coast post Katrina. My own adjuster had the added bonus of experiencing the smell of tons of three week old rotting chicken and pork belly that littered my neighborhood in West Gulfport. Certainly this must have been great stimulus for her libido. More on this Renfroe adjuster in a bit.

I noted over the weekend several of our regular commenters corrected the notion that a good cat adjuster didn’t make great money, especially after the 2004 hurricane season. In hindsight Sid’s comments were also a signal of the renewed Rigsby sister character assassination to come.

Make no mistake this is all out war as State Farm and their shill apologists try to crush the Rigsby sisters before their very specific and detailed allegations of claims dumping on the NFIP are explored. The slabbed here know this and how this perverted use of the legal system has diminished justice for us and every taxpayer that was likely bilked into paying for wind damage that should have come from the treasury of a private insurer.

Without the boogie man of Dickie Scruggs to distract the public from the real issues this litigation involves, the echo chamber which resulted from this latest vicious personal attack on the Rigsby sisters by State Farm is most telling. Simply put the public gets it and the story is not Kerri’s sex life or shopping trips to Texas (shopping here was a bit sparse in December 2005), rather it is about large private insurance companies making off with potentially billions of taxpayer dollars dumping their contractual obligations on the NFIP, and their friends in the White House who think that is OK.

I’ve often said there is simply no substitute for being here in the heart of the GO Zone when it comes to knowing our issues. As Judy Guice observed last week at Gene’s Town Hall Meeting the overwhelming majority of blogs that speak on our issues don’t come close to getting it right though some of the sillier observations make good fodder for generating some cheap laughter.

This brings us back to that cat adjuster pictured above on my slab. Our readers at E. A. Renfroe should recognize her, anyone else care to hazard a guess?

sop

50 thoughts on “Life of a 6 Figure Cat Adjuster After Katrina”

  1. If that is Tammy Hardison she is probably smiling, just can’t see her face. The best I can figure she cleared $250,000 working Katrina. Not bad for someone who had only been an adjusting for two years. Wonder what those adjusters were making on the NFIP claims.

  2. The Hardison deposition gives a straightforward account of fraud by State Farm even though she does not appear to realize it.

    Q. How did that help — how did snapped pine trees above the ground, how did that assist you in making your determination whether the damage was done by wind or the damage was done by water?

    A. Actually, the determination would be made by the surge levels and the wind velocity speeds that the office had.

  3. You got it Duesouth. She was well informed about the expedited payment procedures and tendered my flood policy very quickly.

    In fairness to her in my particular case we had wind excluded HO so it wasn’t her place to determine wind damage.

    Tammy struck me as well trained, knowledgeable and was very professional in handling our flood claim.

    Brian you have a very sharp eye. Sorry I missed you last week.

    sop

  4. “Since the latest round of depositions has the folks at Dunn Carney and Yall politics very excited with new revelations involving the sex lives of the Rigsby sisters”

    SOP, WTF are you talking about? I have not mentioned that their sex lives all in the current round of depositions or even referred to it . . . not once. I did comment on the lunacy of Kerri wanting Sandra Bullock to play her in the movie. At this point, I think the Gals would be lucky to get Patti and Selma (Marge Simpson’s twin sisters) to portray them in the flick.

    You’re running a little fast and loose with your imagination on this one.

  5. Alan you telling me you didn’t read that part of Hardison’s depo? This is nothing more than another round of cheap character assassination designed to distract the public from the sleazy things State Farm did.

    I’m calling this one like I see it.

    sop

  6. sop, I think Alan had it dead on. Where is there anything in his posts on his blog about that aspect of the depos? If you and the other apologists are uncomfortable about what is in those depositions dont take it out on others by putting words in other bloggers mouths. I for one find the woman’s testimony very telling and as expected, all of you on the “hate all insurers all the time” bandwagon are proving us right that you are so blinded by your hate and predisposition that you discount not only the testimony of women that were -close- friends of these girls but begin to smear them by calling them character assassins. Once again, some rays of sunshine are beginning to peak out on the scheme these ladies and the convict scruggs pulled on the insurers and customers of south mississippi and you guys dont like the sunshine it is very apparent.

  7. Sop et al, why are you so incensed that the insurance adjusters tendered the flood payment so quickly (as DIRECTED BY NFIP) Where in the hell would the coast be today if they had not been released to spend those dollars as fast as they did? Would you, Gene Taylor, Brian Martin, Belle, and every other ins. industry critic be complaining about how long it was taking to get precise wind\water determinations done 2-3 years later? My bet is hell yes. Your premise as well as the rest of that mindset is that the insurers should have paid all the flood, all the wind, reduced their rates, smiled and asked for another storm. You want “proper apportionment, no “dumping on the NFIP” but how many of you TURNED AWAY YOUR FLOOD DOLLARS? More to the point, IF YOU, or any of the rest of your believers feel it was DUMPED on the NFIP, did you return your flood payments as good citizens? I’m betting —NOT.

  8. Proximo:

    Don’t bother these people with the facts. That’s a waste of time.

    I must say, though, I am amused at the newfound respect Cat Adjusters are getting here. The Slabbies have spent the last three years crapping on the people that worked their tails off to handle Katrina claims, and now, all of a sudden, they are heroes?

    Alan: Patti and Selma? Excellent. Who plays Scruggs this time around?

    Finally, I give State Farm credit: they have buried the “Rigsby’s as selfless public servants” storyline once and for all. Angling for a book deal? Arguing over who will play them in the movie? Stealing documents and then claiming they were shredded? Unbelievable.

  9. The kicker is that nobody is picking up on how early on their relationship with convict scruggs, hood, and the rest began. The latest depositions paint a timeline that totally makes the earlier statements by the sistas perjury. I can understand though. They started out stealing info to help them and the convict scruggs make a lot of loot and then had to turn it into the charade of honorable public service when it got found out. the whole qui tam, jim hood’s involvement, etc. was just scruggs way of turning his greed into a public service announcement against corporate greed. (individual greed is apparently ok by him and the sistas.)

  10. Proximo:

    I also was interested to see how the sisters tried to improperly influence the handling of their mother’s claim (wildly improper) and tried to enlist their friends into the document theft scheme.

    Do you think the sisters really believed they wouldn’t get caught, or were they just trying to bamboozle their friends?

    And how about the quote from Dana Lee, when asked what she thought of the sister’s story on 20/20: “I thought it was ridiculous and that they had made up the whole thing.”

    What’s the over-and-under on the remaining life of the QT case? 3 months?

  11. personally, i think the case should go forward. after all the mud that was slung i think the companies involved deserve their day in court and if proper, to be vindicated. i actually hope the case gets good counsel and is completely explored. with all the hatred and accusations that have been sent the industry’s way, their employees deserve the satisfaction of being cleared (if true.) the better bet is when one of the attorneys defending against this attack are going to drop the perjury charge on the sistas. i bet it never happens because it would reinforce their “victim” status because they are no longer employed and every time i see their picture run in the leftist press, they are portrayed as poor little old southern girls who were just trying to do what’s right. Kinda like feeling sorry for the poor kid that just killed his parents and is now an orphan…awwww, poor soul.

  12. Guys don’t forget Kerri’s dog. The pooch is so important to State Farm’s defense they hired a PI to snap clandestine pictures of it. Personally I think Scruggs met with the dog while Kerri was shopping in Texas.

    You guys crack me up. Welcome Mr Proximo and welcome back to CG.

    sop

  13. Sop, I read it (inasmuch as I read every word of both depos), but I said nothing about it and hardly got “excited” about it – even in private. For you to insinuate otherwise is just piss-poor. After forwarding you traffic and highlighting some of the good stuff you have done . . . well, it’s just disappointing.

    As far as “character assasination”, talk to Lee and Hardison. It’s their words, not mine (or State Farm’s or anyone elses). By the continuity of their depos, I’d say it would be hard to coordinate “lies” that tightly. They were definitely on the same page under pretty heavy questioning. Their testimony seems to comport with lots of other things that we’ve heard.

    ClaimsGuy, I actually have already figured out the characters in the movie.

    http://yallpolitics.com/index.php/yp/post/9944/

    Enjoy.

  14. I find all this very sad. I am not going to comment on all the stuuff said previously as I have not researched. I don’t care about their personal habits. It is all about whether they committed perjury. This is a little like with former President Clinton when his shills said it was all about sex. No, it was about perjury.

    What I suspect is “Little Dickie” enrolled these folks to enhance his scheme. If that is the case, the Rigsby have a price to pay. Mr. Scruggs and his cohorts should have a bigger price to pay.

    What tangled webs are woven at times. I am not sure Mr. Hood and Mr. Moore can relax on the beach yet as this entire situation continues to unfold.

  15. Alan, it is obviously your fault that Lee and Hardison said those things. Further, it is your fault that you read them. It is also your fault that State Farm called our attention to them.

    You are one bad guy, Alan. Shame on you for reporting the truth.

  16. Sup while I appreciate your sentiments on their personal lives this is about whether State Farm dumped thier contractual obligations on the taxpayers, not whether the Risgby’s committed perjury.

    The fact is a boatload of evidence exists that SF and others did engage in claims dumping. And that remains true regardless of when the sisters met Dickie Scruggs.

    Simply put Rigsby perjury is a good sounding story and certainly earned Rossmiller SF’s gratitude for posting details of Cori’s sex life earlier but there is no evidence of any Rigsby perjury other than leading questions by SF lawyers.

    And if they have some evidence they best get it out. The fact they are going down and dirty with the sisters personal lives tells me what I need to know about what is backing the Farm’s allegations.

    Stay tuned, we are hearing rumors of more case activity in Ex Rel Rigsby.

    sop

  17. Hey guys, the Rigsbys would not have done any of this had State Farm set out at the get go to defraud the policyholders. Why wouldn’t they think that State Farm had made their day by State Farm’s policies to write off all claims as flood from the beginning? And yes, I get a tad bent out of shape when State Farm profitted in 2005 and the NFIP went broke because of them.

  18. Sorry, I’m late to this party. I will point out that I’ve had several posts now that I thought presented State Farm’s position favorably that went without comment other than a reader that took exception to my making State Farm look good.

    I’m trying to catch up on this thread and holding up white flag until I can push aside pile of work that I’ve got here and read. Back to you in an hour or so once I can read and figure out what all this is about.

  19. Sop, there are two issues here. Two wrongs do not make a right. They are separate issues. If SF dumped claims to the NFIP the courts will determine that as well as whether the Rigsby’s committed perjury.

    However, one cannot deny the actions of The Scruggs Law Firm muddies the water in the case against SF. SF does not lack for smart defense counsel and will do all they can to enroll that argument.

  20. Sounds like ANOTHER slow day at the Rossmiller site. I think the big story here is why Tammy Hardison would quit a $250,000 a year job in the first place. She was real close to the fire and knew what was going on down at the old cat office. Did it get too hot?

  21. Belle – “Rigsbys would not have done any of this had State Farm set out at the get go to defraud the policyholders”. That’s true only if you believe the Rigsys & Scruggs as to the timing and motivation. So far there seems to be legitimate reason to doubt Scruggs. The Hardison & Lee depos raise some significant issues about the sisters, and support the argument SF didn’t set out to defraud.

    I fail to see any necessarily causal connection between SF making a profit & NFIP being “broke”. SF results are based on a wider range of products and geographical areas than just the gulf coast wind policies. Whether SF made appropriate payments on their hurricane wind/flood claims is still an open issue and I’m waiting for evidence testimony on that issue from someone other than the Rigsbys.

    I see one of Scrugg’s biggest failings as his delaying and muddying that whole issue, to the detriment of everyone including his clients.

  22. I still stand by my comment justme. There wouldn’t be any there there if State Farm hadn’t started from the beginning to defraud the policyholders. If someone caught a thief they’d be pretty excited about becoming an hero, too. That’s all. There is nothing unusual feeling good about oneself in doing something that is right — something State Farm doesn’t know anything about.

  23. proximo,
    They should have performed a legitimate adjustment, based on a good faith examination of the available physical evidence and correct weather data. The adjusters that were sent to sites with combined wind and flood losses should have had much better training – see how attorney Inge exposed the lack of training at the the end of the Hardison deposition.
    Then they should have promptly paid from the flood policy for damage they could show was caused by flooding, and paid from homeowners policy for the damage that was caused by wind and for the damage that may have been caused by wind that they could not prove was caused by flooding.
    Those are the contract contractual obligations they had to policyholders and the federal government.

  24. Boy, no one on this site will acknowledge that the Scruggs Law Firm may have been the genesis of this issue. Who is in jail? SF contimues to win lawsiuts. DUH?

    Now, I am of the opinion some mid-level claim managers at SF did some bad things and they should be held accountable. To try and manipulate engineering reports to avoid paying claims is inexcusable. What amazes me is I am not aware of any activity to go after the actual perpetrators of any wrongdoing. Could it be Mr. Scruggs and is cohorts were not interested in true justice to the actual perpetrators, but a quick entry to the SF vault.

    Greed is a terrible thing!

  25. Dickie Scruggs cut corners Ms Sup and it came back to bite him. You’re also right – I don’t think you’ll find anyone here that thinks Scruggs originated the issue of claims dumping.

    Your opinion of SF’s behavior mirrors my wife’s uncle who was a supsaleman for American family. I’m not certain I buy into that completely for one reason: Watkins v State Farm in Oklahoma City. The players were the same down to Lecky King, and Renfroe though SF had to ditch Haag down here very early on once it was made public they were serial opinion whores.

    Blind cat adjusting was old hat to King and company by time Katrina hit. And she could not have existed unless someone higher up approved of her job performance.

    The problems I saw from the bottom do indeed bear out what you write. Greed is a terrible thing.

    Judy Guice expressed some hope legal sanity complete with justice would ultimately prevail. I personally have my doubts.

    sop

  26. This is my second attempt to respond – lost my first when I briefly lost power. Given the comments since my last visit, I thought it better to point out that making Scruggs and the Rigsby sisters an issue smacks of an effort to fan the smoke when it’s long past time when the conduct of either is relevant to any of the policy holder cases.

    What this proves IMO is that disqualifying their qui tam counsel did not have the impact Judge Senter intended. I thought it was a mistake at the time and continue to believe that to be the case.

    It’s time for both sides of the story to come out – in court I might add – but in the absence of that much needed “day in court” certainly it would serve justice to have all of the depositions unsealed, particularly those of State Farm and Renfroe employees taken under subpoenas from the attorneys representing the Rigsby Sisters in Renfroe v Rigsby.

    Bottom line – with so much smoke there’s bound to be more than one fire!

  27. Mr. Martin, and others,
    Nice try at deflection but the question remains: how damn long would you have preferred the coastians to wait on a definitive answer to “how much was wind, how much was water?” Do you feel there would have been an answer 6 months, 12 months, 18 months after the storm? Would you have REALLY wanted to wait that long before any of the insurers down there paid EXACTLY what was owed on EXACLTY the right per centage of wind and water? And again, if all of you feel you were paid with money from ill-gotten methods of dumping, why the hell do you hold on to it so tightly? IF you dont deserve it, make a stand, give it back, with interest! Be a TRUE PATRIOT. I dare say you can take that same argument on the stump with the good congressman and his cronies and tell him to ask his constituents to do the same thing. “IF THE PAYMENT DON”T FIT, YOU MUST ACQUIT” Return all those dollars to the poor, broken NFIP and make a stand for what’s right. As I said and say again, the insurance companies deserve to have the qui tam go to court…I dare say a court in iowa, or idaho, somewhere that the jury pool is not full up of “hero worship” of the convict scruggs or the twisted sistas. You simply cannot make me or anyone else up here believe you HONESTLY would have wanted to wait for many months for the SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN CAUSE OF LOSS to MISSING HOUSES to be paid on when the NFIP in its wisdom said PAY THEM NOW!!!!

  28. Are you saying, Proximo, that it was necessary to order false engineering reports to promptly pay claims for flood damage? Sorry but I don’t get the connection between allegations of fraud under the False Claims Act and prompt payment.

  29. Yes, Nowdy, there is something perverted in what Proximo is saying. They sloughed off payments for wind to the NFIP as flood. That’s crooked.

  30. It wasn’t an either/or proposition. Every building in Mississippi that had flood damage also had wind damage. There was wind damage and then there was flooding. A legitimate professional adjustment could have made the call. No need for months or years of delay. Pay flood where you prove flooding; pay wind for the rest.
    The real story in these depositions is just how patheticly trained these adjusters were for task of determining the cause of a loss. They were “trained” by attending a Lecky King seminar, and then sent out with the fraudulent Haag Katrina weather data, a fraudulent instruction on interpretation of anti-concurrent causation, and a remarkable lack of interest in the timing or the severity of the wind and water or in detailed examinations of the evidence or the data. They commited fraud and didn’t even know it because of their poor training.

  31. “They commited fraud and didn’t even know it”

    The last time I checked, fraud was an intentional tort. You can’t negligently or unknowingly commit fraud.

    So if you don’t know it’s fraud, it isn’t fraud.

    On another note: as the title of this blog makes clear, this is not about the thousands upon thousands of Katrina claims that SF and the other carriers paid. (How many billion dollars? I forget.) This is about those few homes that got destroyed by the storm surge and that want wind money, too. What Brian and others propose is a stick-by-stick forensic analysis of a slab that was under 10 feet of storm surge, looking for the random stick or shingle that was wind-blown. Such a process is absurd on its face. If your house got destroyed by a storm surge, that’s a flood loss. SF’s sin was saying so, consistently. Shame on them for calling flood damages flood damages.

  32. State Farm committed fraud by sending them out with fraudulent instructions. I am for giving the Renfroe adjusters immunity. They really apparently didn’t know any better than what Lecky King and Mark Drain told them. When you start bragging about paying for trees on roofs in Laurel and Jackson and Tuscaloosa and Tennessee and Georgia and everywhere else where there was no flooding, I know that you know you have lost the argument.
    At the time, State Farm owed whatever a detailed adjustment would have attributed to wind and a fair settlement of the portion of the loss where the cause of damage was in doubt. They didn’t make a good faith effort to fulfill that obligation. Now, because of their bad faith actions, they owe policy limits plus damages on every wind/flood loss where they assigned the loss to flooding based on the Haag data. I also think that the decision to stop ordering engineering reports is as big a fraud as the cases where they forced the engineers to revise reports.

  33. Brian, Belle, etc, the fact remains that if you think ANY adjuster is capable of going onto a property where nothing remains but a concrete slab and come up with a figure of how much was wind, how much was water, you are the ones living in la la land. If you want to have all future slab losses paid -after- a detailed forensic engineering study as claimsguy discussed, fine, just dont bellyache about the months it is going to take for those people to get paid. Does any adjuster training cover the wind gust speed necessary to make a 6penny nail pull out of 1/2 inch hardie plank fascia, oh wait, it was 3/4 inch you say, oh well that’s different. You say you had your windows open to relieve the air pressure, oh well that would have reduced the wind damage to the house from 38% to 26.78%. That was treated fence railing? Oh ok, that would have withstood 36.7 more miles of wind speed so you probably only lost 28% of it before the water came in… blah blah blah. HOW DOES ANYONE PICK A FIGURE FROM THE AIR WHEN THERE IS NO WAY TO SEE DAMAGED PROPERTY. I for one would think there will ALWAYS be a lawsuit over apportionment when an adjuster says “we came up with the figure by looking at just the broken tree limbs since that is all that was left.” Face it, all y’all want is your cake, the insurance companies cake, everyone elses cake and you want to eat it too.

    It boils down to issues of proof and so far the courts have sided with the insurers that the proof is on the insured to prove damage when the insurer has met the proof requirement that an excluded event was involved. All of the hyperbole you spout about bad faith, etc. is just so much political grandstanding. Yep, there have been bad faith awards given by juries but we all know they can be somewhat ‘swayed’ by public opinion and where they live. It isnt exactly a jury by your peers when everyone sitting on those juries wants to reward their neighbor.

  34. Nowducit, what I was saying didnt have anything to do with engineering reports when they paid the flood payments. NFIP told the insurers look at maps, satellite, etc. and if the area where the insured house was located got inundated, pay the limits, put money in their hands and go onto the next claim. The engineering reports were ordered for the companies to use in helping with wind calculations or if there was a structure left that needed more detailed help. You have followed these events well enough to know that.

  35. I’ll use my real name and state that I have represented homeowners in lawsuits against State Farm an others.

    On the overwhelming majority of slab cases here in LA, State Farm did not even hire engineers until it got sued. Why would you need an engineer to defend a lawsuit, but not need one to determine the cause and origin of a loss?

    What about State Farm’s template engineering report in which the SF engineer inserts the policyholder’s name, and then it states that some not yet inspected home was destroyed by storm surge?

  36. It boils down to issues of proof and so far the courts have sided with the insurers that the proof is on the insured to prove damage when the insurer has met the proof requirement that an excluded event was involved.

    That is certainly the PR line you get nationally but it is simply not true Proximo. The only point insurers have consistently won on appeal is the validity of the anti concurrent clause. They have been getting their asses kicked otherwise.

    It is the insurers absolute duty to properly adjust a claim, not an insureds. Such is the reason State Farm paid up quick in Broussard after the 5th circuit reversed Senter’s summary judgement.

    The bigger question that ultimately reveals the public policy problem is why did insurers not pay up initially after the storm. Even industry lawyer David Rossmiller will tell you anti concurrent causation does not apply here. Why? Because wind damage that occured before the surge arrived was not derived concurrently with any non covered peril.

    The laugher is the implied notion in the industry PR spin these poor multi billion dollar insurance companies didn’t know their risks before they wrote wind included HO down here. Beyond being silly that concept is simply a crock of bullshit that if true, implies far bigger problems in management and leadership at these retail insurers than the institutionized fleecing of their customers since McKinsey.

  37. Proximo, that was your explanation for the use of the engineering report. What was the second engineering report used for?

  38. I stand by my remarks and Belle, if I’m behind a curve based on those SENSATIONAL posts.. ha ha, then you are not on the same course as the rest of the individuals with an insight into these matters both legal and otherwise.

  39. What is Jim Hood going to do when the sistas sing? And sooner or later the sistas will sing or else go down in massive legal flames.

    Dickie convinced Hood that this was going to be his Mike Moore moment of political fame and fortune. Too bad it was too late before Hood realized how badly he got played.

  40. Jim Hood? Nothing I bet The sisterrs have hired new counsel for Ex Rel Rigbsy and it’s not Provost Umphrey either. Time is now running against State Farm Sid and the magic associated with the names Dickie Scruggs and Jim Hood is long gone.

    Justice is calling Lecky King and her enablers at State Farm.

    sop

  41. State Farm should get what is coming to them. The sistas and Jim Hood will also. How big is that hole in which you park your head?

  42. One more point. NFIP paid $1.4 billion to WYO companies for loss adjustment expenses. If all they did was drive around handing out checks for policy limits, that is another fraud against taxpayers.

  43. Proximo:

    What is your real name? What do you do for a living? Why did you not respond to the issues in my last post? Who are “the rest of the individuals with an insight into these matters both legal and otherwise”?

    I have plenty of insight into these legal matters, especially the denial of slab cases by State Farm. It is beyond dispute that State Farm denied slab cases in Empire, Buras and Port Sulphur, LA, where Katrina made landfall as a strong Cat 4 hurricane. In some cases The Farm did not pay a penny for structural damages, even though it is undeniable that the winds (which came before the surge) were in excess of 150 m.p.h., which is equivalent to an F-3 tornado. In at least one case in which I am involved, The Farm’s own engineer (hired for lawsuit only) acknowledged the likelihood of wind damage. The Farm has still held firm on paying the homeowner $0 for wind damage. What a good neighbor.

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