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.