Another mother’s child and Judge Senter’s order – Rigsby qui tam goes to trial!

Based on the evidence I heard from the stand, particularly Kerri Rigsby’s own testimony, it appears to me there is sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that she does indeed possess direct and independent knowledge of the facts she has alleged in support of the allegations in the Amended Complaint. This evidence is also sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact on the merits of the Relators’ substantive allegations.

Sop probably thought I’d want to start this post with, I told you so.  As tempting as that is, I chose to preface Judge Senter’s Memorandum Opinion with a tip of my hat to Pat Labrano, Cori and Kerri’s mother.  Known to the unwashed in the blogosphere as “Ma,”  I had the unexpected opportunity – and pleasure – to meet both Pat and Kerri several months ago when my search for Sushi landed us in the same Ocean Springs restaurant.

Kerri was, as Chip Merlin described her, the type you want to call your friend.  So was her mother and, clearly, the two of them were also friends.  I might add, they were also beautiful and gracious women.

With that truth told, I yield to Judge Senter to tell another – the story of the McIntosh claim, constructed in large part from Kerri’s testimony but clearly verified in other documents available to him.

I  have also included in total the section he titled, Scope of Further Proceedings and, in a separate post, I’ll cover the Summary Judgment awarded State Farm on the Risgby’s claim of retaliation.

Kerri Rigsby is an experienced insurance adjustor who had been working for Renfroe for approximately ten years at the time of Hurricane Katrina. She testified that within a few daysafter the storm, when State Farm was just beginning to adjust the losses under the SFIP policiesand under its homeowners policies, she attended a meeting convened by State Farm. Kerri Rigsby testified that during this meeting the person giving instructions for adjustors and their supervisors to follow told his audience Hurricane Katrina was a “water storm” and the adjustors should go out and “hit the limits” of flood insurance policies. Defendants deny these allegations. Continue reading “Another mother’s child and Judge Senter’s order – Rigsby qui tam goes to trial!”

Breaking: Slabbed Exclusive – Rigsby’s qui tam prevails on summary judgment!

Details coming but short story is that McIntosh false claim will go to jury first.  Then Judge Senter will consider discovery on other claims.  He has also asked State Farm to submit information on similar claims.

Summary judgment was also granted on the retaliation claim.

Congratulations Kerri and Cori and most of all thank you!

Attention Mississippi Coast Media: Yes Dave Elliot and Doug Walker you guys too

Time is short for me today but one thing that stood out in the State Farm rate increase application was the use of models to calculate the cat risk assumptions that drive the rate up (and the rate app is woefully short on the assumptions used in these models). In Florida Allstate used very short term models that have proven highly inaccurate to justify rate increases there that Commissioner McCarty turned down. Additionally I highly recommend you contact Beatrice Garcia of the Miami Herald as she reported extensively on the use of those unapproved models back in early 2008. I’d also track down Karen Clark, the person who pioneered the use of weather modeling for insurance for additonal info. You guys need facts, not industry spin to challenge Mike Chaney and this bogus rate up from State Farm.

Weather modeling posts we’ve done on Slabbed:

How’s the weather model – December 2007

Insurance Weather Modeling – Others have questions too – December 2007

On the fallacies of the science behind statistical modeling – April 2008 Continue reading “Attention Mississippi Coast Media: Yes Dave Elliot and Doug Walker you guys too”

expedite is a plaintiff’s turtle and insurer’s hare

turtlehare no linesThere is a time disparity is the Court’s treatment of plaintiffs and defendants that has resulted in a situation where expedite is a plaintiff’s turtle to the advantage of insurer defendants making expedite their hare.

Turtles are everywhere in Katrina litigation – often with the information needed to represent the plaintiff shielded in privilege logs that do not comply with applicable rules and law.  Discovery is a nightmare.  Decisions routinely are based on defendant’s claim discovery has been completed, even when plaintiff’s claim to the contrary.  The Court seeming makes no independent inquiry and issues knee-jerk orders with regularity.  Plaintiff’s counsel takes his or her life in hand when meeting the ethical responsibility to file a request for reconsideration of a Magistrate’s order – so much so that rumor has it the plaintiff’s bar has purchased purple hearts.

How evident it is to others, I don’t know.  How regularly anyone reviews the dockets is something I can’t begin to guess.  An attorney I am not; but, one need not be to know that motions related to discovery merit a timely response and it’s just not happening.

Nowhere is the disparity between the Court’s treatment of plaintiffs and defendants more evident than Continue reading “expedite is a plaintiff’s turtle and insurer’s hare”