Senter issues order in Rigsby qui tam case – a legal Patton

In the often cruel and seemingly out-of-control world of Katrina litigation, the opinion/order Judge Senter issued today assures us he’s in control and demanding the best of all who come before him – a Patton addressing his troops before Normandy.

“Men, this stuff that some sources sling around…is a crock of bullshit. The General paused and looked over the crowd. “You are not all going to die,” he said slowly. “Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle…

A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you’re not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit!”

Patton’s grim expression did not change. “There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily”, he roared into the microphone, “All because one man went to sleep on the job”. He paused and the men grew silent. “But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did”.

As you’ll see, Senter’s opinion/order was a victory for the public and a defeat for none of the parties involved – and no one should suggest otherwise. Read it for yourself – if not for the information, for pleasure of reading a textbook-worthy opinion.

At some point, this action has to be resolved on its merits, and the enormous sideshow that has developed around the identity of Relators’ counsel and the wrongful taking of these documents has to stop. By previous order, I have set a briefing schedule for the dispositive motions now pending, and I am sure there are other motions yet to come. I would like to reach the merits of these motions and indeed the merits of this action as soon as possible. The parties and the public deserve no less.

Continue reading “Senter issues order in Rigsby qui tam case – a legal Patton”

Rigsby sisters qui tam attorneys file to enter McIntosh en mass

Davidson, Litherland, and Matteis put their money on the table and their pro hac vice motions in the system today – and, as Sop would say, does Gilbert Randolph read Slabbed?.

Maybe so; but, I rather suspect the Rigsby sisters called in the troops after State Farm filed an emergency motion to compel their Alabama attorneys to schedule depositions in the Mississippi McIntosh case.

The only other action on McIntosh today was a text only order issued by Judge Walker denying the Scruggses motion for leave to file excess pages in response to the questions posed in Oxford when their depositions were taken recently.

No written order will follow according to the docket entry; so, we’re left to imagine what Judge Walker was thinking. I’ll go first with my guess – he’s waiting for Ms. Nicholson to file the Order mentioned in her letter to the Court. Me, too! The woman flat has a way with words.

The Plaintiffs intend to file a Motion for a Protective Order that (1) opposes the re-setting of the depositions; (2) asks the court to explicitly set out and limit the scope of the depositions, if they are allowed, preventing further abuses by State Farm; and (3) asks the court to limit the amount of time State Farm is allowed to depose the Scruggses. (emphasis added) Continue reading “Rigsby sisters qui tam attorneys file to enter McIntosh en mass”

Farmers Pulls Out of North Carolina: The Insurance Circle is Broken

This bit of breaking news from the National Underwriter caught my attention. Here is how the circle works, insurers flee coastal areas forcing thousands of residents into the state’s insurer of last resort. The rapid growth in the state wind pool scares off other insurers scared of the potential risk. Insurers fleeing risk; makes you wonder what economic market value they plan on bringing in the future.

The news inspired me to song for our friends in North Carolina:

I was standing by my window,
On one cold and cloudy day
When I saw that hearse come rolling
For to carry Farmers Insurance away

Will the policy be unbroken
By and by, lord, by and by Continue reading “Farmers Pulls Out of North Carolina: The Insurance Circle is Broken”

Sun Herald to the Commish: Honeymoon is Over, Now Get to Work

Today’s editorial on the Mississippi version of a policyholder bill of rights comes from out of the blue and is aimed straight at our new Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney and Lt Governor Phil Bryant.

Our readers wonder why I blame the GOP for the mess on the coast. Besides the obvious, Lt Governor Bryant and his insurance committee chairman Buck Clark killed all such common sense measures last session. IMHO they too deserve credit along with the Commish for the loss of 147 jobs at Future Pipe. The Sun Herald knows the score this time simply editorializing the fact consumer friendly bills all die in the state senate sparing Bryant for now.

IMO the piece is a good hint the honeymoon between Mike Chaney and the Sun Herald is done. Has he done enough so far or should we expect more? Consumers deserve far better.

When Long Beach homeowner Kevin Buckel was denied coverage for Katrina damage to his property, he set out to convince the Legislature to pass a Policyholder Bill of Rights. Continue reading “Sun Herald to the Commish: Honeymoon is Over, Now Get to Work”

Brown v. Nutt settled and dismissed

I guess we’ll never know who the opposing counsel was that Ms. Brown was seeing. The parties had a settlement conference on August 11 and the case was settled and dismissed with prejudice as to all parties.

The Court being advised that all parties have an informed understanding of their rights and a full appreciation of the consequences of the settlement, and the Court being desirous that this matter be finally closed on its docket,

IT IS, THEREFORE, ORDERED that this case is hereby dismissed with prejudice as to all parties. If any party fails to comply with the terms of this settlement agreed to by all parties, any aggrieved party may reopen the case for enforcement of the settlement agreement. If successful, all additional
attorneys’ fees and costs from this date shall be awarded such aggrieved party or parties against the party failing to comply with the agreement. The Court specifically retains jurisdiction to enforce the settlement agreement.

The judge definitely did not want to hear anymore about this case!

Cape May New Jersey Feeling the Pressure: Travelers & The Farm Pulling Out

A northeastern Slabber sent me this Cape May County Herald story this morning and I didn’t get far before I almost fell off my chair laughing:

The problem is proximity to the ocean and the amount of losses suffered from Hurricane Katrina and other storms in the southern half of the nation. He said Hurricane Katrina put a number of insurance companies out of business.

Please name us slabbers one such company of any consequence. You simply shake your head seeing the myth of insurer insolvency repeated verbatim. The Herald has been punked.

The reality of the great coastal wind insurance shaft is not lost on the politicos that represent our coastal brothers and sisters in the northeastern US. And I use the term brothers and sisters because this thread I did in April is like Cecil Turtle,  never burning up page views but getting us slow and consistent traffic from the Jersey shore. Just last month their politicians confirmed it in Bay St Louis. Northeastern seaboard US Reps Hoyer, Larson, and Israel publicly proclaimed they knew our pain. Our fate had become their fate.  Nearly one month later NFIP re-authorization still hangs in the balance and coastal America’s wind problem remains. Continue reading “Cape May New Jersey Feeling the Pressure: Travelers & The Farm Pulling Out”

State Farm files emergency motion to compel Rigsby deposition

Scratching my head on this one and wondering if I’m confused or if State Farm’s approach to qui tam discovery has become the tin of sardines looking for a key it appears to be. I guess I’m confusing you now; sorry. Here’s the deal.

State Farm filed an emergency motion today asking Judge Walker to compel the deposition of the Rigsby sisters. Attached to the motion as exhibits are email messages to-and-from State Farm’s counsel in the case documenting the good neighbor’s effort to schedule a date.

On May 23, 2008, this Court entered its Order [Doc. 1196] granting State Farm’s motion to compel Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby (hereinafter “the Rigsbys”) to each submit to one additional hour of depositions with the caveat that State Farm may best be served by waiting until issues regarding Cori Rigsbys computer were resolved.

On Monday, August 4, 2008, State Farm finally received a copy of a disk containing information
retrieved from Cori Rigsby’s computer. Yet, on July 23, 2008, in anticipation of receipt of that disk, counsel for State Farm had already begun to inquire about possible deposition dates for the Rigsbys. See Exhibit A.

On July 23, 2008, following the initial inquiry regarding deposition dates, counsel for the Rigsbys responded by requesting potential dates from State Farm=s counsel. See Exhibit B attached hereto.

There’s nothing unusual about the motion; but, the Exhibits are a different matter. Look at the header I copied with email addresses deleted; and, see if anything strikes you as unusual, too. Continue reading “State Farm files emergency motion to compel Rigsby deposition”