Weathers Bitch Slaps Eleuterius while the Supremes sing a new legal precedent song: An O’Keefe v State Farm update

We have activity in the Federal Case O’Keefe v State Farm and this time due to a somewhat unlikely source, the Mississippi Supreme Court. This is a good topic because it appears from the conduct of the Corban proceedings the Court is once again deciding cases based on legal precedent which had become somewhat of a rarity in recent years as Chamber of Commerce approved justices like Jess Dickinson issued several very curious rulings such as in Jenkins holding the statute of limitations for a wrongful death case begins at the point of injury rather than the death itself in a ruling that favored a corporate defendent at the expense of the deceased family as the deceased evidently lingered and lived too long after the injury for his estate to sue. The public spectacle of Mississippi’s highest court beclowning itself lead to a reversal of Jenkins though I suspect the family remains SoL, forever shafted by Justice Dickinson.

Such behavior out of this State’s highest court explains why I had no confidence the Supremes would do justice in Corban but I’ll admit I was very pleasantly surprised, especially that Justice Dickinson actually asked intelligent questions during the proceedings and appeared to be open to the law, no doubt with an eye to the electoral calender. Regardless of the reason I almost suffered a heart attack when I read the latest from O’Keefe and then discovered Justice Dickinson voted with the other justices to reverse a badly decided case against an insurer where the agent made material misrepresentations to the customer. The agent’s legal arguments that the cause of action was time barred due to the statute of limitations had originally prevailed in the lower courts. For the State Farm agent in question in O’Keefe, this ruling could not have come at a worse time.

Nowdy covered the legal arguments of SF agent Marshall Eleuterius that the O’Keefe’s claim against him was time barred due to the Statute of Limitations in a post from this past Monday. The Thursday before, however, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruling in Weathers v Met Life detailed above was handed down and team O’Keefe wasted no time letting the Federal Court know about Weathers and the nitty gritty details in the case, especially the parts where Stephens v Equitable was too restrictive:

Perhaps most important to the case at bar, the Mississippi Supreme Court noted the Court of Appeals relied upon Stephens vs. Equitable Life Assurance Society of the United States, 850 So.2d 78, 84 (Miss. 2003) for the proposition that “the statute of limitations accrues upon the completion of the sale of the insurance policy”. Weathers, at ¶ 16. This Honorable Court likewise relied upon the noted language in Stephens for support of its holding that “where the alleged misconduct occurs during contract formation, the limitations period begins to run upon the purchase of the policy”, in Poole vs. Colonial Life & Accident Ins. Co., 2007 WL 4287534,*4 (S.D. Miss. 2007) – a case cited and relied upon heavily by Eleuterius in the subject motion. The Mississippi Supreme Court has now held that such a conclusion is “erroneous and more restrictive than was intended by this Court [with regard to its pronouncement of the law about when the statute of limitations begins to run in Stephens].” Weathers, at ¶ 16 (emphasis added). The Court noted “there may be a genuine issue of material fact” about whether the alleged misrepresentation(s) at the time of contract formation are inconsistent with the plain language of the insurance policy….

A Leonard v Nationwide litigation footnote involved agent misrepresentations of the need for flood coverage. I do not remember if they asserted a claim against the agent or if it was shot down because of earlier reliance on bad case law.  I do know that misrepresentations made by insurance agents selling coverage in Mississippi that rise to the level of a tort are no longer protected by the misapplication of the statute of limitations here in Mississippi.

One final point that I’m making in fairness to the P&C insurers is that a glance at these State Court cases that set the legal standard on this issue involve life insurers. To the buying public of these various life insurance products the phrase Caveat emptor comes to mind as something to remember when purchasing these financial instruments.


6 thoughts on “Weathers Bitch Slaps Eleuterius while the Supremes sing a new legal precedent song: An O’Keefe v State Farm update”

  1. Reversal ? Damn man. OK since I just see the courts as a place that makes judgments imploring the golden rule. In this I smell fish. Check out the picture you could paint with this brush. Not that anyone would ever do such a thing.

    Family of 6, with 2 couples and each having a child. Let’s say an event in 1995 by one family against a corporate defendant in court. Let’s say 1 of the couples and child were injured to an assumed death losing all they owned. Now let’s say the least injured couple being family agreed to work with corporate defendants through their attorneys to limit all action’s. As well collect on an assumed death. To even mask the entire( class action ) event creating a new history of the past so as to await a death.

    The entire matter being to protect the corporate defendant from wrongful death actions could be accomplished by the previous ruling to, I’ mean really protect defendants in an unheard of ruling by the court. Some of personal choice over law, again. Meaning that the injury in 1995 must be fatal by 2000, there or about. In this theory the injured out living the assumed death would hold any cause of cause of action.

    To wit. If the couple aiding attorneys via solicitation of claims as well to aid suppress actual facts. What if the least injured couple suffered a death? Feeling a need to reward aid which channeled actual proceeds to the out come of corporate desire rewarded with criminal acts. Is that something deserving of reward?

    If it did you would fair better to say now you could try to legalize the reward or payment or whatever by now saying oh that wasn’t right now was it. Further more what about all those that were made victims of a corporate corruption to clearly control the courts.

  2. I’ll try to remember that. then there was ” in the darkest hole you’d be well advised not to plan my funeral before the body dies” Actually the actions are more along the “your so vein” thing. I fought the law and the crooks won. Oh no I’m started

    Sunshine on my shoulders gives me sunburn. Ooooh that smell. It’s all hypothetical isn’t it. You never do understand what the courts are actually trying to achieve or who the puppet master is.

    It’s none of my business but you appear happy. Hopefully your home is restored and your no longer slabbed. Might explain it.

  3. I’ll always be slabbed Robert but that is not such a bad thing in that the experience made me a better person overall.

    Like everyone who went through this I had much to come to terms with after Katrina. To the extent I no longer wake up in a cold sweat at 3:00am riding on my roof anymore is a big plus. Those flashbacks stopped for me around 18 months or so ago.

    We’re not living on the coast itself so we still don’t consider ourselves completely back but that is by choice and well laid financial plan. When we return it will be to Waveland rather than Gulfport though we plan on keeping our “Country Cottage” for ever.

    On happiness an old board friend recently inquired how we were doing and this sums it up. I’m still waiting on that one to hit…


  4. Sop, I’ll never doubt it was a tragic event in that it was shared by some many. You appear to have the proper spirit to bounce back from such nightmares and it’s good to know you have a plan. We had often wondered how things were going with the fact that people were so effected. Thousands of stories unknown.

    Not wanting to ask It’s good to hear from someone with personal experience of that event making something positive out of it. God speed.

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