Acker’s latest Order, Renfroe’s OMG amended Response – Renfroe v Rigsby and the Hunting of the Snark

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope…

After considering the responses filed on the 26th by counsel for Renfroe and the Rigsby sisters, on the 28th Judge Acker issued a responding Order:

The responses filed by the parties on January 26, 2009, to the questions posed to them by the court on January 20, 2009, make it plain that both plaintiff and defendants waive their right to a trial ore tenus on the questions surrounding the claim for attorneys’ fees as part of the damages plaintiff claims for breach of contract.

But the Judge said he never had summed up before;
So the Snark undertook it instead…

The court has never before conducted a trial by affidavit on a question of damages. The court is, of course, familiar with the determination by affidavit of a claim for the reasonable attorneys’ fees that are provided to a prevailing party by certain statutes. Nevertheless, the court ACCEPTS the parties’ express waiver, and will proceed accordingly.

And summed it so well that it came to far more
Than the Witnesses ever had said!

On the 29th of January, Renfroe’s counsel filed an amended Response to Acker’s earlier Order inclusive of a Continue reading “Acker’s latest Order, Renfroe’s OMG amended Response – Renfroe v Rigsby and the Hunting of the Snark”

Slabbed welcomes it’s new readers from across the pond

With the internet you never know where people will come from next but there ain’t no mistaking the traffic we’re getting from the Telegraph’s US Editor Toby Harnden’s blog. We’re a bit player but enjoy the honor of being linked on his “honour roll”. Come on down and get slabbed Toby, Gumbo and Drago’s Oysters for you sir.

sop

“The causes of ineptitude can be traced…”

Two members of the Troubled Asset Relief Program Oversight Panel today recommended in a minority report that Congress create an optional federal charter for insurers…that may be utilized by insurance firms to underwrite, market, and sell products on a national basis…allowing insurance firms to choose…Congress can build upon the success of state guarantee pools and maintain state jurisdiction over premium taxes…

Money…All for money…Make your money…Hide your money…Stuff your money…Hump your money…Save your money…All for money…The causes of ineptitude…Can be traced… to the tyranny of Money…All for money…

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Chip Merlin on “State Farm’s Power Play and Propaganda Ploy”

State Farm’s decision to withdraw from Florida has invited comment and Florida attorney Chip Merlin allowed us to cross post his comments here.

State Farm is hard to figure out. They say one thing and often do another. When you finally get to the decision makers, there is usually some logic to why they do things despite disagreement from consumers or regulators. State Farm’s announcement that it was leaving the Florida property market really has me wondering–“what’s up?” From what I read and hear, I am not the only one.

The number of building policies affected is estimated to be between 800,000 and 950,000. Only Citizens Property Insurance Corporation insures more structures in Florida. Approximately 1.2 million total policies will be phased out by State Farm over two years. Under Florida law, State Farm has to file a plan to remove itself from Florida. Kevin McCarty, of the Office of Insurance Regulation, will then step into the picture to evaluate and investigate State Farm’s actions.

McCarty has taken a very calm ‘wait and see’ attitude. Very smart. He knows that State Farm does not just announce leaving a market without a strategic plan in place to help its overall position throughout the country and in Florida. Continue reading “Chip Merlin on “State Farm’s Power Play and Propaganda Ploy””

Must have hit the wrong button on its slabberator – Allstate posts big 4th quarter loss, 1000 positions on the chopping block

Another quick post. First, news from the National Underwriter, then, a little more.

The Allstate Corp. reported a fourth quarter loss of $1.13 billion and says it plans to eliminate 1,000 positions in the next two years in response to the economic downturn.

Reporting its fourth quarter results…[Allstate]…said its income loss came in at an estimated $1.13 billion compared to net income of $760 during the same period of 2007. This translated into loss income per share of $2.11 compared to earnings per share of $1.36 the year before. Consolidated revenues during the period dropped 27 percent, or $2.42 billion, to $6.57 billion.

The company said its 1000 job reduction in its financial unit will take place over the next two years by attrition and elimination of jobs. Allstate said it plans to save 20 percent in operating expenses, for savings of $90 million by 2011…

The Northbrook, Ill., insurer said total catastrophe losses for 2008 were $3.3 billion compared to $1.4 billion in 2007…

On the property-casualty side, the company said it plans to reduce homeowners exposure to catastrophe losses; limit short term growth with stronger underwriting and reduction of catastrophe exposure; keep the p-c combined ratio to between 87 and 89 for 2009, excluding the effects of catastrophes and prior year reserve re-estimates. Continue reading “Must have hit the wrong button on its slabberator – Allstate posts big 4th quarter loss, 1000 positions on the chopping block”

Aye, Aye Admiral – Judge Bridges awards additional $500K in Lisanby v USAA

Short and sweet as, like Sop, I’m pressed for time this morning – but not so short that I can’t post what has been all too rare – good news from a court to the Plaintiff in a Katrina insurance case.

A couple awarded more than $900,000 last year in Jackson County’s first Hurricane Katrina insurance trial was granted $500,000 this month to compensate for legal costs and fees associated with the case, according to court documents.

At the final judgment hearing, special Judge Billy Bridges decided that Adm. James and Gladys Kemp Lisanby should receive an additional $302,920.44 for lawyers’ fees and $211,069.41 in litigation expenses.

That brought to about $1.42 million their total award from their insurance company, United States Automobile Association.

For readers interested in background information, Slabbed has a number of posts on the case as this site search indicates.  Now, for the rest of the story: Continue reading “Aye, Aye Admiral – Judge Bridges awards additional $500K in Lisanby v USAA”

Hawaii Five-O: Consumers Protected in Hilo, not on Hilo Way

The good people over at Insurance Law Hawaii picked up coverage of Dickerson where we once again find Mississippi’s lack of a timely payment statute leaves us out in the cold.  Bottom line, if you are lucky enough to live in Hilo or Maui you’re half way protected. On the other hand if you live on Hilo Way or Maui Street you’re pretty much SOL:

The Fifth Circuit also affirmed an award of statutory penalties for arbitrarily failing to pay a claim within thirty days. After receiving the first adjuster’s report concluding that the wind caused the damage, Lexington took no action for over sixty days.

Hawaii’s Unfair Claim Settlement Practices Act lists as an unfair practice the failure to offer payment within thirty days of affirmation of liability if the amount of the claim has been determined and it is not in dispute, Haw. Rev. Stat. 431:13-103 (a)(11)(F), but there is no statutory penalty for such delay.

Congrats to Tred for making the elite list of insurance blogs at Alltop. Keep making like Joe Friday guys and the big time litigators down here such as Rick and Soren will keep you stocked with material.

sop

Breaking: Lexington loses big at the 5th Circuit (Again). Shades of the Warrs…

This case has a little something for the people stopping in from google checking on the recent Brent Warr news (google is very very good to us) :-) as well as those of us that like seeing the courts make insurers honor their contracts. Let’s start with an excerpt from today’s ruling at the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Korbel v Lexington:

In October 2002, Korbel purchased a home at 430-432 Olivier Street (the “house”) in New Orleans, Louisiana, and began extensive renovations which were not completed prior to Hurricane Katrina. Korbel ate, bathed, and slept at his parents’ house, but sometimes slept at the house when he was working there late and was too tired to return to his parents’ house. Lexington insured the house, and the policy covered damage to the house, other structures, and personal property, as well additional living expenses resulting from loss of use. Hurricane Katrina struck on August 29, 2005, before the renovations had been completed. At the time, the property was two-thirds gutted, lacked a finished kitchen (including refrigerator) and bathroom, contained minimal furniture, and received electricity via a temporary pole. Korbel first reported his claim to Lexington on September 26, 2005.

Though I’m severely pressed for time this case became compelling for obvious reasons as a large part of the criminal case against Mayor Warr hinges on his residency when the storm hit. Let’s dig deeper into the fact patterns and see if any of this applies: Continue reading “Breaking: Lexington loses big at the 5th Circuit (Again). Shades of the Warrs…”

Nationwide on the negative side

Read the story and then we’ll look at one of the stories behind the story.

A.M. Best Co. has revised the outlook of Nationwide Group to negative from stable due in part to the historical impact of storm losses on the group coupled with reduced investment income.

The Oldwick, N.J.-based rating agency said it concurrently has revised the outlook to negative from stable and affirmed the debt ratings of “a” of the $1.5 billion in existing surplus notes of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

Best said it considered the historical impact of storm losses on Nationwide Group’s underwriting performance as part of the outlook adjustment.

“A.M. Best expects management may be challenged to rebuild surplus based upon historical underwriting performance and reduced investment income given the current volatility in the financial markets,” Best said.

The rating agency also cited as a reason for the revised outlook the “precipitous decline in risk-adjusted capitalization associated with the early 2009 privatization of Nationwide Financial Services Inc. (NFS).” NFS is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nationwide Mutual after Nationwide Mutual completed its acquisition of all of the outstanding publicly held Class A shares of common stock of NFS following shareholder approval on Dec. 31, 2008…(all emphasis added)

One of the stories behind the story of Nationwide’s negative outlook is recorded on the docket of  Mississippi’s Southern District Federal Court. Continue reading “Nationwide on the negative side”