Renfroe’s Response to the Rigsbys’ Motion for Clarification was the other “Friday night special” I pulled late yesterday. Ordinarily, I would have posted the document as soon as I finished reading; but, I don’t ordinarily have to read a document as many times as I’ve read this one.
Read along with me and see if you don’t agree this one is a piece of work. We’ll start with this “refresher”:
Relators have filed a motion for “clarification” of the Court’s April 4, 2008 order [Docket No. 1173] in McIntosh v. State Farm Fire & Casualty Co., No. 1:06cv1080-LTS-RHW (S.D. Miss.) (hereinafter “McIntosh Order”) ostensibly “to clarify” that the order “does not preclude the Relators from testifying in this case.”
Refusal to accept external reality because it is too threatening; arguing against an anxiety-provoking stimulus by stating it doesn’t exist; resolution of emotional conflict and reduction of anxiety by refusing to perceive or consciously acknowledge the more unpleasant aspects of external reality. (denial)
A gross reshaping of external reality to meet internal needs. (distortion)
Renfroe uses defense mechanism IMO because the reality of their legitimate defense is so painful – they worked at the direction of State Farm. Posing that defense would cost them the State Farm account, approximately 70% of their business as I recall; so, they deny reality and pose a different and distorted version.
Confoundingly, Relators profess the need to clarify and “confirm” their reading of an order that, in the next breath, they declare “quite clearly does not preclude the Rigsbys from testifying in this False Claims Act case.” Id. at 1. Relators never explain why they would need clarification of an order they believe to be “quite clear,” a position almost as preposterous as Relators’ assertion that the McIntosh Order does not disqualify them as witnesses in this case.
Renfroe – and State Farm, too, for that matter- know Senter’s order did not disqualify the Rigsby sisters from serving as witnesses in the qui tam case.
(Senter’s Order) That Cori and Kerri Rigsby are hereby DISQUALIFIED as witnesses in any actions now pending on this Court’s docket against State Farm or Renfroe in which the Scruggs Katrina Group or the Katrina Litigation Group has represented the plaintiffs[.]
(Renfroe Response, page 4-7) …Relators’ previous False Claims Act attorneys -who were not part of Scruggs’s joint ventures…
Consequently, the motion includes this allegation and related footnote:
Needless to say, Relators are decidedly not innocent victims here. They are, among other things, the very same people who, for months, clandestinely stole thousands of documents from Renfroe and State Farm and fed them to Scruggs, and the evidence shows they were involved with Scruggs in the breach of the qui tam seal in this case.(4)
(4)Defendant State Farm has recently filed with the Court an Attachment (Docket No. ) to its Motion to Dismiss (Docket No. ) setting forth newly discovered evidence of violations of the seal in this case. See also State Farm’s Memorandum of Authorities in Support of Its Motion to Dismiss the Amended Complaint (Docket No. ) at 23-26.
Docket No. 203, filed by State Farm in the qui tam case on August 1, contains the transcript of depositions of the Scruggses taken for McIntosh in the Oxford depositions. At present, the claims made are allegations, not fact, and they are allegations subject to objections raised by counsel for McIntosh and in subsequent motions filed by McIntosh counsel and the Scruggses – allegations represented as fact in this motion and supported as fact by the footnote.
This continuing use of defense mechanisms, distortion of allegations as fact in this example, is best saved for a therapeutic setting.
It is my sincere hope that the type of normal, professional, and focused advocacy necessary to resolve the individual merits of the cases still outstanding will presently come to the fore.
Judge Senter wrote those words on the fourth of June – two months and 20 days ago – and yet we are continuing to see the contract claims at the heart these cases, being pushed off their rightful place at center stage. How much longer do we wait?