ACC is the causation of Nationwide’s litigation – and policyholder claim of emotional distress

Katrina insurance litigation – selected Nationwide and State Farm cases posted the end of February and introduced a handful of interesting cases including Politz v Nationwide, a slab case.

Politz caught my eye again last night when my sweep of active cases turned up this Order from Judge Senter:

That the defendant’s motion [158] for summary judgment is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The motion is GRANTED as to the coverage for “other structures.” In all other respects the motion is DENIED.

That the defendant’s motion [110] to strike the plaintiffs’ claims for emotional distress will be GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART. The motion is GRANTED as to any evidence that Mrs. Politz’s heart condition or “depression” was caused by Nationwide’s actions in adjusting the Politzs’ claim and as to any evidence that Nationwide’s actions caused Mr. Politz’s hypertension, diabetes, anxiety, claustrophobia, depression, or his death from osteomyelitis. In all other respects, this motion is DENIED.

In the related Memorandum Opinion Judge Senter provides a summary of the background on the case: Continue reading “ACC is the causation of Nationwide’s litigation – and policyholder claim of emotional distress”

A rare glimpse…..

This was the topic of last nights nightmare except the due date in my dream was March 9, 2009 instead of July 30, 2009.

I’ll add a person seriously needs time away when dream fodder is workload planning.

Everyone in the GO Zone that received a homeowners grant owes Gene Taylor a big thank you for getting that bit of relief through Congress last year.


SLABBED Daily – March 31

Trying out a different name after Sop’s shocking discovery yesterday.

and, then, there’s the latest from Louisiana Citizen’s Insurance and the State’s never-met-an-insurer-that-wasn’t- right commission reported by Rebecca Mowbray for the Times Picayune in Citizens passes on settlement in Katrina class action litigation.

The board of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is engaged in a high-stakes gamble as it seeks to deal with two overlapping class-action lawsuits over the state-sponsored insurer’s handling of claims from the 2005 hurricanes.

If Citizens prevails, it says it will dispense with both suits for $35 million. If it loses, taxpayers could be on the hook for possibly hundreds of millions of dollars… Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – March 31”

Almost done! Renfroe and Rigsby ask for seven more days to complete settlement

chocolate-bunny-3Don’t hide your eggs tonight but Easter is coming and so is the settlement of both Renfroe v Rigsby, the Alabama case, and the issues between the two parties in the Rigsby qui tam.

Here’s the Joint Motion for an additional seven-day extension to finalize the settlement details.

The settlement agreement between Plaintiff E. A. Renfroe & Company, Inc. and Defendants Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby includes not only the remaining issues in this case but also all of the issues between these parties in the qui tam suit pending in Mississippi (United States ex rel. Rigsby v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Company, et. al, Cause No. 1:06-cv-433, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division). Because this settlement encompasses both suits and complex issues, there are, of necessity, numerous lawyers involved in crafting the precise language of the settlement agreement and its supporting motions and proposed orders…

ACCORDINGLY, the parties jointly and respectfully request that this Court grant this Joint Motion for Additional Extension of Time, extending the current deadlines to April 6, 2009 and April 8, 2009.

I guess we just wait and see who gets the chocolate bunny.

Moral Hazard? Slabbed wipes our a$$ with Moral Hazard (Part 1)

Friday afternoon I decided to take on the broad topic of Moral Hazard, the concept for which this blog is unpinned. I collected links and research and then promptly experienced writers block for which even my gratuitous bashing of Rossie could not break. Then as per normal (and in true Talebesque fashion) Russell serendipitously emails me a link that ties things together. This becomes part 1 because there is no way I can tackle the topic in one post and do it justice. The bonus is I get to indulge a personal interest in Game Theory and of course poke some fun at what one observer calls moral hazard lite which represents the intersection of politics with the calamity that has shaken our banking system to its core. Let’s start with a quick definition of Moral Hazard:

Moral hazard is the prospect that a party insulated from risk may behave differently from the way it would behave if it were fully exposed to the risk. Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not bear the full consequences of its actions, and therefore has a tendency to act less carefully than it otherwise would, leaving another party to bear some responsibility for the consequences of those actions.

How does this “different behavior” that results from having no ri$k play out in the financial markets? We have a case study in progress commonly known as the bailout that provides some clues. Russell knows me as an intuitive trader when it comes to individual issues and I’ve been casually telling people this current rally in the financial services sector is an illusion in respects. We’ll have to retest our lows and that could happen as many as three times between now and Q4. Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge gives us a 2009 example to the old Wall Street saying, “Sell in May and go away” as he details why banks as a whole were surprisingly profitable the past two months. Hopefully this will stick with us when the bank execs collect their bonuses from these “results” down the road. Here are some snippets from the Zero Hedge exclusive: AIG was responsible for the bank’s January and February profitability:

Zero Hedge is rarely speechless, but after receiving this email from a correlation desk trader, we simply had to hold a moment of silence for the phenomenal scam that continues unabated in the financial markets, and now has the full oversight and blessing of the U.S. government, which in turns keeps on duping U.S. taxpayers into believing everything is good. Continue reading “Moral Hazard? Slabbed wipes our a$$ with Moral Hazard (Part 1)”

The Daily Slab – March 30

An aerial view shows a house with a sandbag levee is surrounded by floodwaters south of Fargo, North Dakota March 29, 2009.

All the sandbagging seems to be paying off for folks in North Dakota – so far – but it will be touch and go until river drops another couple of feet. However, it was all go for a young couple who married “surrounded by family and flood water”.  More pictures from North Dakota are here.

Closer to home, a Moss Point school will be closed today because of flooding.

Orange Lake Elementary School in Moss Point will be closed Monday due to flooding.

“This is the only school in the district at this point that is closed, but people should stay in touch with the media,” Myya Robinson, director of communications for the Moss Point School District, said Sunday night.

Tobacco lawsuit dollars tracked from Clarion-Ledger reporter Jerry Mitchell  story in the Sunday paper could lead one to believe Merkel is tracking reporters after Delaughter’s strong showing in last week’s motions – for example, this footnote from the Motion to Dismiss Counts Two, Three and Four:

The indictment concedes that Judge DeLaughter’s rulings in the Wilson v. Scruggs litigation were “not plainly unlawful.” Indictment at 2, ¶ 7. We take that double negative to mean that his rulings in fact were lawful and that the government will not attempt to show that any of Judge DeLaughter’s rulings favoring Scruggs was erroneous. (Judge DeLaughter made a number of rulings favoring Wilson during the indictment period. We assume the government will not contend that those rulings were erroneous.)

More during the the day as news comes our way – or yours.

The Daily Slab – March 29

Mary Perez/Sun Herald
Mary Perez/Sun Herald

Eagles flew through Pass Christian’s War Memorial Park Saturday after Marlin Miller of Fort Walton Florida finished his latest work of art which was dedicated to the late Col. Lawrence Roberts and the Tuskegee Airmen. Besides Miss Lucimarian daughters Dorothy, Sally Ann and Robin were at hand for the dedication.

The Roberts women celebrated their hometown with neighbors, many of whom had walked to the park.

“We were strangers but you took us in,” Lucimarian Roberts said.

“She and my father, they taught us about the three Ds — discipline, determination and da Lord,” said Robin.

“We are so grateful and so proud to call Pass Christian home.”

Next up is stuck on stupid as the Democratic Leadership Counsel is taken to task by WSJ columnist Thomas Frank. Evidently the heart of the DLC philospohy is a burning desire to hop in bed with the crooks that brought us this latest Wall Street disaster. Continue reading “The Daily Slab – March 29”

Judge DeLaughter goes into motion! Six, to be exact.

Prior to the indictment of Dick Scruggs, few things were as improbable as the mention of judicial bribery and Judge Bobby DeLaughter in the same breath.

On January 28, 2008, the government filed a notice of its intent to introduce “other act” evidence pursuant to Rule 404(b), identifying the evidence in a subsequent letter to Defendants’ counsel as “another attempt to corruptly influence a judicial proceeding,” referring to a search warrant application for the Langston Law Firm and the information, factual basis, and plea colloquy in United States v. Joseph C. Langston

On January 7, 2008, former attorney Joseph C. Langston pled guilty to a one-count information charging him with conspiring to attempt in 2006 to corruptly influence First Circuit Court District Judge Bobby DeLaughter in a case then pending before Judge DeLaughter, Wilson v. Scruggs…(Source: USA v Scruggs, Defendant’s Motion in Limine to Exclude Extrensic Evidence Pursuant to Rule 404(B) and Memorandum of Law; links added)

What began as improbable has become the probability of a precedent setting case.

On March 14, 2008, Dick Scruggs entered a guilty plea in USA v Scruggs.   Judge Delaughter is named in the news story quoted in a SLABBED post published later in the day.   Almost a year later, Dick Scruggs entered a second guilty plea.  However, this time Judge DeLaughter was named in the indictment.

Unlike Scruggs, Judge DeLaughter entered a plea of not guilty.  SLABBED posted the story of his arraignment In this world of sin and sorrow – USA v DeLaughter,.

The former prosecutor who made a worldwide name for himself for putting Klansman Byron De La Beckwith behind bars pleaded not guilty today to a five-count indictment in court, accused of ruling in favor of the former lawyer once called Mississippi’s “king of torts.”

Some have compared the period following indictment to the grieving process; i.e., denial to acceptance of responsibility and an eventual guilty plea.  Is Judge DeLaughter in the midst of that process or is he truly not guilty as charged?

At this point, any answer is a guess; and, many have been guessing.  Most, however, have been guessing at his strategy for fighting the charges. On Thursday, he filed a set of six motions that suggest his defense.  All six motions are linked below.  Each is followed with a summary compiled from the text with the exception of the Motion for a Bill of Particulars which is both linked and presented in text. (all emphasis added) Continue reading “Judge DeLaughter goes into motion! Six, to be exact.”

The Daily Slab – March 28

Anchors away for former Governor Ray Mabus whose appointment as Secretary of the Navy was announced by President Obama yesterday – and somewhat discretely announced by the state’s newpapers.  Mabus was the featured appointee in the Washington Post story and the sole appointee in a news brief reported in the online NYT Ex-Governor Chosen for Navy Post

President Obama nominated Ray Mabus, a former governor of Mississippi, to be secretary of the Navy. Mr. Mabus, 60, campaigned extensively for Mr. Obama last year. Mr. Mabus served in the Navy from 1970 to 1972 as a surface-warfare officer on the Little Rock, which was based in Newport, R.I. He was governor of Mississippi from January 1988 to January 1992. He also served as ambassador to Saudi Arabia from 1994 to 1996 under President Bill Clinton.

Yoo-Hoo! Rigsbys respond to Judge Senter and introduce the neighbors reports the latest filing in the qui tam case and the ex rel Rigsby file linked in the left side has been updated.cropped-cwh-banner2

Another interesting North Dakota site – the blog between the states –  linked to SLABBED.  If you’re interested in Civil War history, check it out.

Although involved in a legal war at present (USA v Delaughter), Judge DeLaughter, reportedly, is a student of the period.

Goldman spent millions to bails out two executives caught my eye as I was reading the NYT story on Mabus story; and, the National Underwriter asks, Is Eliot Spitzer To Blame For The Debacle At AIG?  Of course, the answer to that question is a resounding, No!

Consider this an open thread – and have a great weekend.

Yoo-hoo! Rigsbys Respond to Judge Senter and introduce the neighbors

In his Order concerning discovery prior to hearing on consolidated motions, Judge Senter noted:

In their responsive pleadings [264], the Relators assert that they are unduly limited in the evidence they can present because they do not have possession of the McIntosh claims file. The Relators have identified four sets of claims file documents they wish to obtain in order to present their side of this controversy: 1) all damage estimates State Farm made for the McIntosh property; 2) a full copy of the transaction logs on the McIntosh claims; 3) digital photographs of the damage to the McIntosh residence; and 4) correspondence related to Forensic Analysis Engineering Corporation’s assessment of the damage to the McIntosh property.

In addition to these documents, the Relators have identified seven witnesses whom they wish to depose before the start of the hearing: 1) Alexis King; 2) Brian Ford; 3) John Kelly; 4) Mike Church; 5) Craig Robertson; 6) Ron Muchk; and 7) Linda Muchk.

The relevance of the information these four witnesses possess is apparent; they were direct participants in the adjustment and payment of the McIntosh flood claim or witnesses who purport to have knowledge of the storm forces that damaged the McIntosh property. The role of the other three individuals the Relators have identified and the relevant knowledge they have is not readily apparent in the record.

The Rigsbys were required to submit a concise summary of their reasons for wanting to dispose the three individuals on their list whose relevance wasn’t apparent to Judge Senter by noon today – the Relators’ Summary of Reasons for Discovery follows: Continue reading “Yoo-hoo! Rigsbys Respond to Judge Senter and introduce the neighbors”