Gagne’s got the goods on State Farm, wants more

Don’t be surprised if this post end with a chorus singing Proximo’s song, I WANNA KNOW.  It begins, however, with Judge Walker’s denial of a Motion to Compel filed by Gagne found in the Gagne v State Farm update posted a few days before Christmas.

As an initial matter, the Court finds that the motion to compel is untimely and should be denied on this ground alone. See Local Rule 7.2(B)(2)…In the instant motion, Plaintiff argues partly by inferring from the evidence, but primarily through speculation, that State Farm has conspired to modify or alter draft engineering reports and to deny all slab claims without conducting an investigation. Plaintiff fails, however, to demonstrate with any degree of probability that State Farm is withholding information or documents specific to the Plaintiff’s claim. Thus, there is no basis for granting this untimely motion to compel.

Gagne is back with what the docket lists as a Motion for Review of Magistrate’s Order and 18 exhibits as evidence, leaving little, if anything to speculation other than the court’s response.

Plaintiff, ROBERT R. GAGNÉ, through the undersigned attorney, hereby respectfully files this Motion asking the Court to reverse, in part, Judge Walker’s Order…Plaintiff respectfully suggests that the Magistrate’s ultimate conclusion – that the draft reports are not related to Plaintiff’s claim is a mistake of fact. It is Plaintiff’s position that certain parts of the original Motion to Compel touch on evidence of such a probative and relevant nature to the case at bar that the interests of justice require these documents be exempted from the Magistrate’s ruling and produced to the Plaintiff.

Gagne has limited this request to two sets of documents and I’ll cover the first in total before bringing up the second. Continue reading “Gagne’s got the goods on State Farm, wants more”

Breaking Grilletta v Lexington (AIG): Rick Trahant Earns a Big Win for Policyholders at the 5th Circuit

The Fifth Cirucit is on quite a streak ruling according to the law in two straight wins for policyholders. This blurb from the decision in Grilletta and Lauman v Lexington sums it up.

Much of this case involves a review of the district court’s factual findings, and there is no indication that the district court committed clear error. Accordingly, we AFFIRM the district court’s decision regarding the house, the boathouse, and the supplemental contents coverage. The district court did err, however, when it failed to impose statutory penalties on the entire amount due.

We therefore REVERSE that portion of the district court’s opinion and REMAND for a recalculation of the statutory penalties.

Nowdy tagging on now with background and a summary of the Fifth Circuit’s decision. (Sop was called away before he finished.) Continue reading “Breaking Grilletta v Lexington (AIG): Rick Trahant Earns a Big Win for Policyholders at the 5th Circuit”

Jim Brown on Socialism and Insurance, Louisiana Style

Jim was kind enough to email me his latest column, which is simply excellent. Here in Mississippi the talk is putting even more taxpayer money into the wind pool. In both cases we note Republican administrations have well honed their new found skills practicing socialism. – sop

Thursday, January 8th, 2008
Baton Rouge, Louisiana


In days of old, Robin Hood took from the rich and gave to the poor. When it comes to insurance, the Louisiana Legislature and the Insurance Department do just the reverse. They apparently think it is better to take from every taxpayer, rich and poor alike, and give away public funds only to homeowners, who are more likely to be a little better off. If you don’t own a home, either by choice or because you cannot afford to, your tax dollars are taken out of the state general fund to be given away as a gift to those fortunate enough to be a homeowner. It’s Robin Hood sticking it to the little guy.

The Louisiana insurance Department is ballyhooing the giveaway program as homeowners getting part of their insurance premiums back. Headlines in several of the state daily newspapers bought in to the Department press release by stating that “Homeowners may get rebate on Insurance.” But this was a misleading fiction, since there was no rebate involved. Homeowners were not getting a rebate on what they had paid for insurance. What they were getting was a handout of state general funds from the legislature. Great if you qualify for the handout. But it’s a giveaway for only a certain class of people, and completely inconsistent with the prudent expenditure of taxpayers’ dollars. Continue reading “Jim Brown on Socialism and Insurance, Louisiana Style”