I am my own grandpa and my name is AIG

NYT: Less than the sum of its parts #1

Nothing is wrong with spreading risks to other companies, a practice known as reinsurance, when it is carried out with unrelated, solvent companies.

It can also be acceptable in small amounts between related companies. But A.I.G.’s companies have reinsured each other to such a large extent, experts say, that now billions of dollars worth of risks may have ended up at related companies that lack the means to cover them.

NYT: Less than the sum of its parts #2
NYT: Less than the sum of its parts #2

If my wife is my grandmother,
Then I am her grandchild.
And every time I think of it,
It simply drives me wild.

SLABBED sang a slightly different  version of the song in a Sop and Nowdy tag team post last October: As the husband of my grandmother, I am my own grandpa! My name is RenaissanceRe.

NYT called the tune today in After Rescue, New Weakness Seen at A.I.G. Continue reading “I am my own grandpa and my name is AIG”

The Kodrins Take the 5th to the Supremes

I saw this breaking story on the case of Kodrin v State Farm show up in our Times Picayune RRS feed and immediately recognized the case since we covered it extensively. (here, here, here, and here) It was also the case where I exposed Rossie as a Katrina legal charlatan as his penchant for letting State Farm ghost write his blog finally caught up with him.

All that aside I wish I could get empart some hope that the Kodrin’s appeal to the Supremes will amount to anything other than a quixotic effort, after all we are a policyholder blog. Simply put, while we all know State Farm acted in bad faith in how they adjusted the Kodrin’s wind claim simply knowing that fact is not enough; the evidence must be introduced into the trial record and it is largely missing in Kodrin. The first “here” I linked above is what I think history will judge as the definitive post on the topic of Kodrin and getting bad faith cases past the 5th Circuit and our newer readers will also find out what was missing from the Kodrin equation. Without further commentary on my part following is today’s Times Picayune story on the Kodrin appeal to the US Supreme Court:

A Port Sulphur couple who lost their home in Hurricane Katrina has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a lower court ruling rejecting their assertion that State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. acted in bad faith when handling their claim.

Judy and Michael Kodrin originally sued in U.S. District Court and won a $356,318 award, which included the full value of their homeowners policy plus additional penalties and attorneys fees.

But a three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals threw out the penalties and attorneys fees, reducing the overall award to $117,084, out of which the Kodrins would have to pay their own legal fees if they recover no additional damages. Continue reading “The Kodrins Take the 5th to the Supremes”

A Jim Brown Weekly Column Twofer Part 2: Jim Tackles Healthcare

Thursday, July 30, 2009
Baton Rouge, Louisiana



The President is facing an uphill fight in his quest to change the face of healthcare delivery in the US. Each day, more and more Americans are concluding that the billions being spent to shore up the economy, do to the economic collapse, is about all the country can afford, at least for now. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has an alternative approach that he says will cost nothing. But is he merely proposing “health reform lite?”

First, the President’s plan. He keeps talking about how Republicans are fighting to block health-care reform. But all he had to do was to sell his health agenda to the Democrats. After all, his party owns the White House, has a 70-seat majority in the House, and a filibuster-proof Senate. Not one Republican is needed. All the Democrats have to do is agree on something.

His problem is that Democrats like Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu and Congressman Charlie Melancon go home to Louisiana each weekend and hear overwhelming apprehension and concern from their constituents. And the same thing is happening to Democratic members of congress nationwide. Continue reading “A Jim Brown Weekly Column Twofer Part 2: Jim Tackles Healthcare”

A Jim Brown Weekly Column Twofer Part 1: Jim Covers the Recent National Governor

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Baton Rouge, Louisiana




It was like old home week at the National Governors’ Conference in Biloxi, Mississippi this past weekend. The Louisiana Governor seemed to be the center of attention, with other state governors coming up to greet, give hugs and pay respects. When Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour welcomed the various state chief executives and their numerous staff members in attendance, he only acknowledged one governor in the crowd. Louisiana’s. But we were told Gov. Bobby Jindal wasn’t going to show? And he didn’t.

So how could he be in Biloxi? Well, stick with me here now. It’s a really good story you did not read or hear about any place else. Are you ready?

I drove over to Biloxi to hear Johnny Mathis perform at the Beau Rivage this past Friday night. Since I had read about the National Governors’ Conference being held there, I thought “what the heck.'” I’m with the press, so let’s get media credentials and stop by. I registered on line as a medial representative from Clear Channel Radio, picked up my badge when I arrived at the Beau Rivage, and headed for the opening Friday night reception for all in attendance.

I walked into the main conference room on the hotel’s second floor, and the place was packed. Open bar, great food, and a good band playing southern music. I recognized a number of faces from national news stories. Of course Gov. Barbour, as well as Gov. Brian Schweitzer from Montana, and Gov. Joe Manchin from West Virginia. I greeted Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas, who I knew from the 1980s when we both served as Secretary of State from our respective home states.

But the Governor who was obviously garnering most of the focus was from Louisiana. OK OK. No more suspense. Continue reading “A Jim Brown Weekly Column Twofer Part 1: Jim Covers the Recent National Governor”

We are kicking around the idea of having a Slab Conference

The purpose is to share information that is available in the public domain regarding these insurance cases so that policyholder advocates can exchange and share that information. We’ve already sent our some preliminary feelers via email and to make certain no one is left out I want to post an open invitation to all the policyholder advocates that read us.

You guys know who you are so please email me earning04 at gmail.com if you are interested and have not heard from us or want more information. Time and date to be determined, the location of the conference will be somewhere here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.


SLABBED Daily: July 30 all politics is local

With the Washington Post reporting Rove Had Heavier Hand in Prosecutor Firings Than Previously Known, today’s SLABBED Daily looks at the firing of federal prosecutors from the perspective of all politics is local.

…Rove described himself as merely passing along complaints by senators and state party officials to White House lawyers…

The story focuses on three of the nine U.S. Attorneys fired in 2006 – a group that includes Missouri’s Todd Graves, known to SLABBED readers as counsel for Zach Scruggs in the case that became USA v Scruggs, Scruggs, and Backstrom.

Graves, the U.S. attorney in Missouri, was removed after staff members of Sen. Christopher S. “Kit” Bond (R) repeatedly complained to political aides and lawyers in the White House, according to interviews and the inspector general. Rove, who had done political consulting work for Bond earlier in their careers, said in the interview that he had become aware of the turmoil on the eve of President Bush’s visit to the state.

Graves brings the story home; but Dunn Lampton actually brought it closer.  Lampton, who until his recent resignation had been U.S. Attorney for Mississippi’s Southern District  since 2000, was once slated for a pink slip – and that brings us full circle to Rove’s testimony suggesting all politics is local. Continue reading “SLABBED Daily: July 30 all politics is local”

…and a dim bulb flickered in Texas over at TWIA

While Commission Chaney had all the bright lights of insurance and finance shinning in Mississippi, a dim bulb flickered in the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association (TWIA), according to Texas’ oldest newspaper, the Galveston County Daily News:  h/t  always thoughtful reader

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association wants a judge to give it immunity against paying attorneys’ fees, penalties, interests and other expenses beyond actual damages in litigation claiming it acted in bad faith or maliciously in dealings with policyholders.

In Bakht Khattak vs. Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, the insurer is seeking sovereign immunity, which means it can’t be sued without its consent.

If Judge Susan Criss of the 212th District Court in Galveston grants sovereign immunity in that case, her decision could apply to any lawsuit filed against the insurer since Hurricane Ike, which struck in September with 110 mph winds and devastating storm surge.

About all that can be said for this TWIA flicker is that it would require a lot less time and money than hiring lawyers to sneak around and get all the evidence against you classified a “trade secret”.

The windstorm association isn’t seeking dismissal of the lawsuit or others like it, officials said….

What the association’s attorneys at a Monday hearing asked Continue reading “…and a dim bulb flickered in Texas over at TWIA”

Gene Taylor Talks NFIP and Wind Insurance on the House floor

FRANK, B. (D-MA): I yield myself three minutes and I yield for question to our colleague from Mississippi, who has been with our support on our committee, a major proponent for protecting the people who he represents in the area of wind and elsewhere. I yield to the gentleman.

Could it be the gentleman from Massachusetts took the letter from Napolitano with a grain of salt? Many thanks to Nationwide attorney Christopher Landau for enlightening the country on exactly how his client Nationwide fleeced the US taxpayers.


Keeping score #6 – Plaintiffs leading 2-0 on Protective Orders until Walker called Spragins safe on a foul!

Oh the games people play now
Every night and every day now

First, the line up. Pitchers are on rotation – O’Keefe, Harris, and Jordan. Webb Sanders was at bat for State Farm in O’Keefe and Scot Spragins the designated hitter for the team in Harris and Jordan. Making the calls were Magistrates Parker, Alexander, and Walker.

Oh the games people play now
Every night and every day now

Now for the play-by-play in this game of Protective Orders.

Stepping to the plate for Webb, Paige Bush tipped a Motion for Protective Order in O’Keefe straight to Christopher Van Cleve who caught two significant changes from previously agreed to Orders.

Magistrate Judge Alexander, called the out with this Order for the Ozerden court:

Defendant State Farm requests the Court to enter a Protective Order in this cause… Plaintiffs contend that Defendant State Farm’s proposed Order is overly broad on its face because it seeks to make all documents and information produced by State Farm, or any of its agents or representatives, “confidential.”

For the reasons set forth in the pleadings, the Court finds that Defendant State Farm’s proposed Protective Order is overly broad and shall not be entered. However, the Court finds Defendant has established good cause for entry of an Order. Defendant’s Motion for Protective Order is hereby GRANTED only to the extent that Plaintiffs’ alternative proposed Protective Order shall be entered.

Spragins took a swing at Harris in State Farm’s Motion for Protective Order.

Van Cleve caught that one, too and Magistrate Judge Parker called Continue reading “Keeping score #6 – Plaintiffs leading 2-0 on Protective Orders until Walker called Spragins safe on a foul!”