In an absolutely amazing act of hubris, State Farm has filed a game plan in the guise of a Response to the this Court’s Order and the Rigsbys’ Submissions re: Rule 56(f) discovery
Hopefully, Judge Senter will tell the Farm boys the game is over and the party is about to start – or, as Sop might be inclined to say, they can put the BFR&G fee agreement (Exhibit 5) where the sun doesn’t shine.
Along with the so-called Response are nine exhibits: three sets of photographs of the McIntosh home (Exhibits 1, 2, and 3); copies of the checks issued the McIntoshes for flood damage (Exhibit 4); the go-ahead-Farm-boys-and-show-your-ass Exhibit 5; aging depositions of Wyatt, Ford, Ford, and Kelly (Exhibits 6 – 9) – and, then, there’s the game plan – the Memorandum. (exhibits are posted in Rigsby qui tam legal on left sidebar)
They’ve got some good looking color pictures, by the way. It’s just that none of them show how all the water got in as clearly as the one I’ve posted on the right – but that’s how the Farm plays the claim game. The picture you see, by the way, reportedly came from the second engineers report. I’ll post more of these black and white copies later today.
Speaking of black and white, here are a few snapshots of the rules of the game State Farm plays with policyholders, particularly those who have litigate their claims in court.
Delay: State Farm requests an in-person pre-hearing conference similar to a pre-trial conference in order to discuss the orderly presentation of evidence as well as the exchange of witness and exhibit lists.
The not-so-hidden agenda comes next: State Farm believes that a significant number of stipulations concerning the authenticity of various documents and other evidence would help to streamline the presentations of all parties.
Shall we vote? Raise your hand if you think Judge Senter can manage his court. Raise it again if you see a thinly veiled threat to delay the proceedings with motion after motion. Is that obstruction of you-know-what?
Deny: State Farm objects to certain of the depositions of the various witnesses the Rigsbys request to take. Those depositions do not satisfy the standards of Rule 56(f), since they are not essential to justify the Rigsbys’ opposition to the pending motions, nor do they satisfy the well-delineated standards set forth in this Court’s Orders.
Is State Farm in denial or what? Time to vote again. Raise your hand if you think what. Now, guess what.
It couldn’t possibly be a game move designed to find out what the Plaintiffs know that the Farm does not.
Deceive: Where does one start? How about with the biggest deception since Elvis impersonators began the effort to convince the world the King was still alive – the Farm’s claim that Lecky King qualifies as a person who is not directly involved with State Farm’s investigation and payment of the McIntosh flood claim.
Inasmuch as this Court stated in its March 20 Order that it “will not approve the deposition of any person who is not directly involved with State Farm’s investigation and payment of the McIntosh flood claim,” and because Ms. King has no firsthand knowledge of the flood damage to the McIntosh property, her deposition is not warranted with respect to the Rigsbys’ presentation at the hearing on Defendants’ consolidated dispositive motions. Nonetheless, as explained in Section III below, subject to the entry of an Order pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1)(D), State Farm does not oppose the Rigsbys taking the deposition of Ms. King for the purpose of confirming her lack of first hand knowledge of the McIntosh flood claim.
You could tell that when you read my earlier post, Listen to the sounds of silence. Right! The Farm graciously gives their permission for the Rigsbys to depose Lecky – as long as Judge Senter restricts the questions to one – uno – confirming her lack of first hand knowledge of the McIntosh flood claim.
Want more? Here’s another deception (extra points for these).
..Further depositions of former Forensic Analysis & Engineering Company employees Brian Ford and Jack Kelly are not warranted. In addition to the fact that neither individual was involved with the McIntosh flood claim, both Messrs. Ford and Kelly were extensively deposed in McIntosh by the Rigsbys’ former counsel.
Yegod, you don’t suppose the Farm expects these new lawyers to borrow DeWitt’s clothes for the hearing, do you? One thing that’s certain, the Farm doesn’t want the Rigsbys talking to the neighbors – make this deception number three in this series.
…as to Mike Church and Ron and Linda Muchk (or Mucha), the Rigsbys’ summary fails to meet this Court’s directive to “state clearly” what information these individuals have and how that information relates to the McIntosh flood claim, and none of them was “directly involved with State Farm’s investigation and payment of the McIntosh flood claim”.
Very little State Farm could ever do would surprise me. I don’t like their game – telling just enough truth to create a believable lie.
This time, however, I believe they may have gone too far with their claims the McIntosh property was damaged by storm surge.
I know for certain they’ve gone too far from Judge Senter’s honorable intent.
I want to furnish both sides of this controversy a full and fair opportunity to present the evidence they believe is relevant to the merits of the McIntosh flood claim. I do not want to unduly restrict the Relators’ access to the documents that reflect the extent and type of damage at the McIntosh property. That said, at this juncture I do not want to allow the discovery or presentation of evidence that does not bear directly on the merits of the McIntosh flood claim.
Delay, Deny, Deceive – almost four years have passed since Katrina. No one is in the mood for games. Not when far too many policyholder are clamoring for justice they’ve yet to see!