Shake it up baby, come on, come on, come on and work it ALL out – not just Hood and State Farm

With the notable exception of MR-GO, nothing about Hurricane Katrina should be sealed; yet, State Farm has sealed so many Katrina litigation documents, the Company is the hands down winner of the “Duck tape saves the day contest“.

Y’ took a step in the right direction today with this announcement:

Jackson New Media, Inc., publisher of the political interest website, has filed to intervene in the 2007 federal court case of State Farm Insurance vs. Attorney General Jim Hood

Jackson New Media attorney Andy Taggart stated, “Hundreds of thousands of Mississippians were adversely affected by Hurricane Katrina. This was a watershed piece of litigation that tens of thousands of homeowners and all Mississippi taxpayers have a stake in. All we ask from the Court is to allow the press and the public their First Amendment right to access to relevant court materials and remove the lingering doubts as to what really happened in this matter.”

You know you look so good,
You got me going now.

The public’s First Amendment right to access relevant court materials does not begin and end with State Farm v Hood. Continue reading “Shake it up baby, come on, come on, come on and work it ALL out – not just Hood and State Farm”

Defendant’s Response heavy on argument but light on facts – O’Keefe v State Farm

O’Keefe v State Farm was briefly introduced at the end of February in Katrina insurance litigation – selected Nationwide and State Farm cases.

O’Keefe, as you may recall from the earlier post, was initially filed in State court.  As reported in that post, the O’Keefe’s legal fees increased dramatically once the case was moved to federal court.  Given the cause for complaint at that point were the 17 motions in limine that had been filed since the move, I can only imagine how frustrated they are at this point after all the twists and turns the case has taken since that post was written.

State Farm must be frustrated, too, because they’ve lost their grip on this one.  See if you don’t agree as we examine recent filings in the case on the dispute over Scope of Coverage; i.e. State Farm’s insistence the Plaintiffs’ business expenses for Dancel were not covered in the O’Keefe’s homeowner’s coverage.

The title quote – long on argument but light on facts – comes from Plaintiff’s Rebuttal in Opposition to Defendants’ Response in Opposition to Plaintiffs’ Motion for Declaratory Judgment/Partial Summary Judgment RE Scope of Coverage.

…contrary to State Farm’s argument, the pertinent facts in this issue include: Continue reading “Defendant’s Response heavy on argument but light on facts – O’Keefe v State Farm”

Jim Brown on the

021209-1234-jimbrownons1.pngThursday, April 23rd, 2009
Shreveport, Louisiana


Just how many boards, commissions, water districts, sewer districts, parish auditors, law enforcement offices, and a whole list of other special districts are spread throughout Louisiana? No one really seems to know. Some estimates are as high as 7000. But can you believe no agency, public or private, can list all the public bodies that exist in Louisiana today? And if no one knows the number, than it goes without saying that no one knows the overlapping cost.

Start with the 64 parishes. In the rural farming economy of the early twentieth century, each parish served as the synergy of daily life in Louisiana. There was a need for local road and water districts to take care of rural needs. Government, by nature, was local. Police jurors and sheriffs ran their respective local districts like a fiefdom. When election time came around, rural voters were enmeshed in electing local candidates who directly touched their lives.

The sheriff was there to not just keep you safe, but to offer a ride to town for groceries or a doctor’s visit in many cases. The local police juror kept the ditches from overflowing and could see to it that a little gravel was spread on the dirt road leading to your farmhouse. Baton Rouge was often a two day ride on horseback or an all day trip by car over muddy dirt roads. What happened or did not happen at the local courthouse had a direct bearing on the daily lives of a majority of Louisianans. Continue reading “Jim Brown on the”

MRGO update

Just as I was about to add “no news from the Court” to the April 23rd SLABBED Daily, I noticed a MRGO story in the Times Picayune, Newsman Norman Robinson describes his own trauma.

After Katrina left his spacious home in eastern New Orleans a stinking shambles, TV news anchor Norman Robinson and his wife lived for two years in a 700-square-foot River Ridge apartment where, he testified in federal court Wednesday, he got drunk every night to cope with post-hurricane trauma.

“I ended up going to a psychologist because I wanted to commit suicide, and I ended up in a drunken stupor most of the time, ” Robinson said.

His testimony came during the third day of a trial in which he and four others hope to prove their case that the Army Corps of Engineers’ failure to maintain the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet created a speedway for Katrina storm surge that destroyed their property…

Sadly, there are countless numbers of Katrina survivors still trying to cope with the trauma as best they can with hurricane season 2009 now weeks away and, shortly thereafter, the fourth anniversary of the storm.

In yesterday’s second issues and Order post, I mentioned the difficulty of obtaining Dr. Risio’s report.  Since then I’ve found a report on the web – undated as was the one Judge Duval mentioned.  I’m posting it with reservation and no claim it is relevant to the case only because I think the more we know about wave modeling the better.

SLABBED Daily – April 23 UPDATED 2X

Dumbest move ever in history of Katrina litigation goes to Lexington Insurance for letting this claim  ever reach the point of litigation, much less letting it cool its heels in State court –  Gollott v Lexington.

What makes the move dumb is not the fact that Tommy Gollott is the longest serving member of the State Legislature and an all-around great guy, it’s that you simply don’t threaten Senator  Gollott.  He served 40 years as a Democrat, a powerful one at that, but serves his current term as a Republican.

Gollott said he made his decision to switch because of the threat by the State Executive Committee of the Mississippi Democratic Party to decertify any nominee who has supported a Republican in the past.

A successful businessman, Gollott has the money to go the distance.  IMO, however, this one is going to cost Lexington some money – it’s just a question of how much but it will be a lot.

Moving on to surprise moves brings us to Rebecca Mowbray’s rah-rah story on Zurich Insurance. Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – April 23 UPDATED 2X”