There are as many opinions as there are expert in Rigsby qui tam

Pulling the documents filed today along with Judge Senter’s Order took a lot more time than I expected because of the number and size of Exhibits.

Both parties identified four experts.  State Farm’s are interesting in that two are from Florida and the other two are from Tupelo – right, Tupelo.  Hold that thought for a moment and take a look at the two from Florida:  Curtis Gurley (Exhibit A) and Robert Dean (Exhibit B), both from the University of Florida’s Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering.

Now, back to Tupelo, birthplace of Elvis and a rather unusual place to find not one, but two, expert witnesses on hurricane damage.  Tupelo is located in the red clay hills of the northeast corner of Mississippi in what is call the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain region – just about as far from the Coast as one can travel and still be in Mississippi.

However, Tupelo is also home to Webb Sanders Williams, PLLC; and, the Webb is State Farm attorney Dan Webb who at one time practiced law with none other than Tim Balducci.  Small world.  The two experts from Tupelo are Mark Watson, an engineer with Jenkins Engineering (Exhibit C), and Gary Daily, a residential contractor operating as Cornerstone Construction (Exhibit D).

Watson has been an expert for Webb in 30 or so State Farm Katrina cases although his resume indicates his engineering practice is concentrated in and around Tupelo.  The qui tam hearing will be Mr. Daily’s second case and first Katrina case; but, maybe he built Mr. Webbs’ house.

So, there you have team Defense!

The Relator’s also have four expert witnesses and two of their group come from Mississippi State University.  Patrick Fitzpatrick is Associate Research Professor at the Univeristy’s Geosystems Research Institute located at Hancock County’s Stennis Space Center (Exhibit C).  Ralph Sinno is a Professor of Civil Engineering (Exhibit D).

Also serving as Experts for the Relator’s are Keith Blackwell  from the Coastal Weather Research Center (Exhibit A) at the University of South Alabama and local independent adjuster David Favre (Exhibit B).

Team Relator! Exhibits are attached to the Relator’s Designation of Experts and Disclosure of Expert Testimony.

Designated hitters, so to speak, are Mike Ferrier for the Defendants and the Rigsbys for the Relators who must demonstrate they are the original source required by the False Claims Act.

Comment on the testimony these experts will provide is best saved for our own expert, Sop, a construction specialized CPA with, as he recently said, a Ph.D. in hurricane wind and water.

Breaking News -Judge Senter’s Order allows deposition of Lecky King in Rigsby qui tam has been updated with a link to the Order and comment.

4 thoughts on “There are as many opinions as there are expert in Rigsby qui tam”

  1. Curt Gurley was State Farm’s expert in the Broussard case. The Florida Coastal Monitoring Program at the University of Florida is funded by State Farm and RMS:
    http://fcmp.ce.ufl.edu/

    Here is the record of FCMP’s Katrina failure:
    http://fcmp.ce.ufl.edu/collected_data/storms/katrina/towerdata.htm

    The set up three temporary towers in Mississippi: at Trent Lott Airport in Helena (not Pascagoula), which is 15 miles inland, surrounded by wooded swampland, and near the Alabama line; at a small private airfield in Lyman, about 25 miles north of the Gulf;
    and at Stennis Airport (not Stennis Space Center), about 10 miles north of the Gulf just above I-10.

    Guess what happened? The two towers where the winds were strongest (Lyman and Stennis) failed to record any usable data because they “Lost Power Before Peak Winds.”

    I guess they don’t teach a class at UF engineering school about the need to put deisel in the generator.

    What a coincidence that the two sites closest to all the damage were the ones that failed while the one way over where the east and southeast winds came across 30 or 40 miles of Alabama and then the heavily wooded Escatawpa River swamp was the one that recorded any wind speeds.

    HAAG’s bogus engineering report used Curt Gurley’s Trent Lott airport data to suggest that the peak winds were later than the surge. The peak winds in Helena were rather late because they came from south winds after the eye of the hurricane was already well over land in Hancock County. The winds in Helena say nothing about the winds on the Gulf or on Biloxi Bay.

    Gurley’s expert testimony submitted in this case focuses on his claim that the winds were not strong enough to have caused major structural damage. But he never addresses the possible effects of wind-driven debris. The winds by themselves may not have blown out the doors and windows or punched out the bricks in the corner of the house, but the winds slamming large pieces of neighboring houses into the doors, windows, and walls could and almost certainly did cause major structural damage. Look at the location of the house relative to the other substantially damaged houses on the street. The McIntosh house was at the end of the street and would have caught all the debris coming from the east and southeast.

  2. As always, Brian, useful information. That’s funny about the generator. I knew about the gas and it only took me once to figure out you can’t wear heels when you start a generator.

  3. That reminds me of something I heard recently about Hurricane Georges. There was an older man in the Keys who thought he was so strong and fit so he strapped himself to a palm tree to prove that he could withstand all of the winds. Someone pointed out that the winds aren’t the problem, its when a volvo is hurled your way, it doesn’t matter how fit you are. (something like that — I’m a terrible story teller.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *