What did Refroe “flip” is the $65,000 question – one that’s going to distract from the substance of the Rigsbys’ Consolidated Response to the Dispositive Motions unless we deal with it first. The related text from the Response is below. Read it and put it away until Renfroe v Rigsby, the Alabama case, is settled next month. After all, that’s what State Farm will have to do as their reply is due before the settlement.
Over the past several months, Relators have agreed to dismiss voluntarily a number of claims and defendants in order to streamline this action. Most recently, Relators reached an agreement in principle to resolve all disputes with Renfroe. Upon execution of that agreement, Relators will seek consent to dismiss their claims against Renfroe and against the individual defendants Gene and Jana Renfroe. Thus, Relators oppose dismissal ONLY of the following claims:
State Farm Count I: Submitting false claims
Count II: Making or using false records in support of false claims
Count III: Conspiracy to submit false claims
Count V: Retaliatory discharge
Forensic Count III: Conspiracy to submit false claims Haag Count III: Conspiracy to submit false claims
One of the first that needs to go is the notion that Keri Rigsby adjusted the McIntosh claim. As a supervisor, she accompanied the adjuster to the site; however, Cory Perry adjusted the McIntosh claim.
On September 28, 2005, Cody Perry adjusted the McIntosh claim under the supervision of Kerri Rigsby. Cody Perry noted in the McIntoshes’ activity log that the roof had been damaged by wind, that wind-driven rain entered the second floor around the windows and upstairs door, and that there was structural damage to the walls of the home.
State Farm provided the evidence for the Rigsbys – just not in the usual discovery process. Rigsby attorney Benjamin Davidson attests to the source documents in the Affidavit in Support of Consolidated Response
Because Relators have not yet had the opportunity to conduct discovery, Relators have obtained certain documents from the public record, including documents that State Farm placed on the docket in this and other courts.
Accordingly, a. Attached as Tab A is a true and correct copy of portions of the McIntoshes’ activity logs that State Farm attached to its Memorandum in Support of Motion for Summary Judgment in McIntosh v. State Farm Fire and Cas. Co., 1:06-cv-1080 docket no.  (“McIntosh Summary Judgment Motion”), as Exhibits D and E.
Links to the Response and exhibits listed in the Affidavit will be added to the Rigsby Qui Tam legal file (left sidebar) over the weekend (if it keeps raining, as early as this evening!).
One last thought before I shut down for the day and start my weekend work. One of the documents included as an exhibit is from Watkins – a reference certain to raise the standard State Farm objection in limine.
However, when a record is established in Katrina litigation and the case was heard by courts in the Fifth Circuit, IMO, there is no basis for objection. Cases such as Monistere v State Farm, for example, offer evidence favorable to the Rigsbys’ qui tam claim IMNO (in my non-lawyer opinion).
On cross-examination, State Farm’s attorney made the point in the form of questions that, though the water only reached that level, the estimate included repairs above that level.
Also called as a witness was State Farm adjuster Michael Boudreaux. He testified that the amount paid to the Monisteres was based on the entire bottom floor being in need of repair up to the flood water level. The adjuster further explained that the policy would pay for gutting the entire house to that level, but not above. There was some ambiguity in the adjuster’s records about just what the flood level was, which he explained.
David Andras, a second State Farm adjuster, was another witness. When questioned by State Farm’s attorney, Andras testified as to the defects from the company’s perspective in the repair estimate on which the Monisteres relied at trial. That estimate remains the primary evidence on appeal. Andras discussed the impossibility of determining from the estimate what amounts were for repairs below the floodwater level and which for damage above. Removing all drywall from the first floor, all molding, and all wiring would go above the flood policy’s limits.
Consider this testimony from State Farm’s own witnesses in light of this text in the Rigsbys’ response:
On October 4, 2005, State Farm commissioned Forensic Engineering to inspect the McIntosh home. Brian Ford, a Forensic engineer inspected the home on October 7, 2005, and he wrote a report on October 12, 2005. Davidson Aff., Tab B. In his report, Ford observed that the roof and ceilings were damaged, the doors and windows were missing, and the lower right front corner of the house wall was missing.
Ford also quoted Mike Church, one of the McIntoshes’ neighbors, as reporting that “houses were blown apart and debris was thrown into the McIntosh house at approximately 8 AM and the floodwater began rising at 11 AM.” Id. His report concluded that the “interior damage of the structure is primarily the result of the failure of the windows, walls, and doors due to wind.”
Time for a Five-on-Friday refreshment break; so, I’ll stop there and pick up at this point in the weekend follow-up post on the Response. Cheers!