a hush-hush-flush of a deal in high stakes game of Texas hold’em

…and since the mention of “trailer lawyers” put my nose out of joint earlier today, it seems like a good time to post this little jewel of a news story from the National Underwriter – more accurately described as an old jewel reset in recycled spin and titled State Farm quietly settles Katrina claims.

A spokesman for State Farm said today that it has now settled more than 200 hurricane damage lawsuits brought by the Scruggs Katrina Group in Mississippi.

Well, you can bet Katrina’s behind the “settlements” (plural) were quiet – and double your bet there would have been no  dismissal without prejudice of the RICO claims had their not been a “quiet settlement” of all RICO plaintiff’s individual claims.

Spokesman Jeff McCollum said in addition that a case involving 38 plaintiffs in a federal court action accusing the firm of civil racketeering had been dismissed.Terms of the settlements were confidential. Mr. McCollum said only about 250 other cases remain.

Although Provost Umprey made the public statement, IMO, the dealer tossing the burn card in this high stakes game of Texas holdem was Gloria Shows – an opinion that I have no fact to support.

Frankly, I don’t think any supporting facts are needed.  If one carefully reads the  RICO complaint the logical conclusion is the cowboys of PU were partnered with an Annie Oakley of a client in the form of Glenda Shows.

Using a .22 caliber rifle at 90 feet (27 m), Oakley reputedly could split a playing card edge-on and put five or six more holes in it before it touched the ground.

IMO, Ms. Shows is a better shot and a similar tribute to her might read:

[Using] a Plaintiff produced a spiral bound volume of self-compiled evidence…[that]…included an aerial photograph depicting the path of a tornado passing over her home…[consequently]…whether taking a shot face-to-face or from a distance as far as Pascagoula is from Beaumont, Texas or Bloomington, Illinois, she could split State Farm’s defenses edge on and put 462 holes in same with her spiral notebook before a spokeman for the company could hit the ground claiming:

[State Farm]…does not engage in the sort of activity alleged in this litigation. Now-disbarred attorney Dickie Scruggs made unsupported RICO claims to great fanfare in June 2007. Since then, numerous legal, political, media and PR tactics used by Scruggs have been exposed as distortions. The baseless RICO claims have been dismissed and the underlying contract claims are in the process of being settled.

Even with the  hush-hush-flush of “quietly” and terms that were confidential, State Farm was so outgunned that all it could do was take a pot-shot at Dickie Scruggs.  Continue reading “a hush-hush-flush of a deal in high stakes game of Texas hold’em”

On an entirely different “note” tonight – more music

Although Solid was a hit when my ear was tuned to Muppet music, I thought some would find the story behind the recently revised lyrics interesting and a few might even want to sing along.  Take a look and a listen – and enjoy!

Some may call it a case of life imitating art, or a dose of excessive political enthusiasm, but singer-songwriters Ashford & Simpson call it a labor of love.

After hearing audiences change the lyrics to their 1984 hit song “Solid (as a Rock)” to “Solid (as Barack)” — and watching “Saturday Night Live” perform a skit in with cast members did the same thing — the performing duo went back into the studio, retooled the lyrics to honor Obama, and intend to release it via digital download on Inauguration Day. (more below the video)

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Continue reading “On an entirely different “note” tonight – more music”

Judge Walker picks up the drum and issues new marching order in Gagne v State Farm

Yesterday, Judge Walker issued an Order passing on Judge Senter’s marching order to Gagne as Judge Senter intended.  Walker indicated he would consider the need for a similar pass along to State Farm once he reviewed Gagne’s response.

…In the Order, the Court directed the undersigned to reconsider Plaintiff’s request for certain documents and information. The Court further suggested that an in camera review of documents might serve to resolve the issues surrounding the underlying…Motion to Compel and…Motion for Review.

To this end, the Court directs Plaintiff to identify which documents he would like for the undersigned to consider for in camera inspection. In so doing, Plaintiff should identify with as much specificity as possible those documents to which he feels he is entitled but which are being withheld by Defendant.

The Court will then consider which, if any, of these requested documents should be produced byDefendant for in camera inspection. Continue reading “Judge Walker picks up the drum and issues new marching order in Gagne v State Farm”

We have a lot of out of state readers who no doubt wonder…

Exactly what it is that makes Mississippi this nation’s armpit, Numero 50 baby!

It started with a group of de-slaved nabobs in the Delta determined to hold on to their morally bankrupt pre-civil war way of life, where tactics like political disenfranchisement (as in the rest of the State) were excellent ingredients for keeping the populace under educated and in poverty. Throw in a proclivity for electing every government position down to dog catcher and not only do we march to the beat of a different drummer here we’re marching down the middle of the drainage ditch instead of the parade route. Mississippi does lead the nation in the export of human capital.

So as the only state that elects our transportation commissioners shouldn’t we expect the double self dealing along with the senseless squander of taxpayer dollars? Good job Brownie! In keeping with the recently musically based slabbed theme I’m moved to song. This one is dedicated to Butch Brown: (The rest of you keep shaking your heads thanking God we’re here tending to last place.)


if it gets much better, night will have to be longer

Bet that title was a wake-up; but, it’s also a follow-up to a little night music – so settle back and enjoy this Grammy Award winning version of Crying with your morning coffee. h/t CLS

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Sup chips in with the evolution of private market wind coverage on the Gulf Coast

I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with Sup offline and the last email he sent me deserved a guest post on its own. Never let it be said we leave out a point of view. Our offer to Mr. Chaney to join former Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Brown authoring guest post here stands as well. – sop

It is my desire to provide readers of “Slabbed” an unemotional and, hopefully, logical perspective from the industry viewpoint. I recognize the MS Gulf Coast is so different from other coastal areas. In fact, I work on the SC Coast and that is a different world. The MS Coast has always been “blue collar” and the gaming industry must be considered a “blue collar” industry for the great majority of workers. Therein is where the dilemma is.

If you allow me I will try to give you some insight as to how the industry looks at the situation. My first management position was in Underwriting in the early 1970’s. Part of our responsibility was MS and LA. We spent most of our time concerned with the LA coast as at that point the MS Gulf Coast was still trying to recover from Camille. LA was happening because of the oil business. My company began growing like crazy in coastal LA and we had a “worst nightmare” scenario. It was exactly the track Katrina took and we were right over thirty years ago. Continue reading “Sup chips in with the evolution of private market wind coverage on the Gulf Coast”