Rigsby qui tam – what’s hot, what’s not, what’s up?

Judge Senter’s Opinion covered a lot of ground and left only one issue outstanding:

The next four State Farm motions seek the exclusion of the Relators’ four expert witnesses: Patrick J. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. [294]; Keith G. Blackwell, Ph.D. [296]; R. Ralph Sinno, Ph.D. [298]; and David J. Favre [300]. I will address the motions [294] [296] [298] [300] challenging the qualifications of the Relators’ expert witnesses in a separate opinion.

SLABBED has given these four motions little more than passing mention although we’ve covered State Farm’s backdoor approach attacking the credibility of these same witnesses in other cases.

Frankly, State Farm’s use of “demonstrative evidence” at the hearing made their motions “moo” to me (as in “bull$%&t”) and, instead, SLABBED posted State Farm plays video game at Rigsby qui tam hearing after noticing items on State Farm’s evidence list were contrary to an earlier Order that read in part:

Defendant will not be allowed to introduce “demonstrative evidence” under the guise of calling it a “supplement,” especially when it appears that the sole purpose for offering the “supplement” is not to fulfill a duty under the Federal or Local rules, but to avoid the Court’s prior ruling on a similar issue. Furthermore, placing the burden on Plaintiff at this late date to counter this material is unduly prejudicial.

That same thinking should apply to State Farm’s effort to disqualify experts who have testified in countless other cases.  However, in pulling the post to add the link to this one, I noticed something interesting related to what’s hot in Judge Senter’s Order

so I may know the outer limits of the potential claims involved in this
action, I will require State Farm to submit, in camera, a list containing the name of the insured, the address of the property, and the amount of flood insurance paid, for all SFIP claims that meet the following criteria…

We’ll get to the criteria after looking at these maps:

Location of video evidence State Farm presented in the qui tam hearing relative to the McIntosh property.
Location of video evidence State Farm presented in the qui tam hearing relative to the McIntosh property.
 Location of property in Mills v State Farm relative to McIntosh property.
Location of property in Mills v State Farm relative to McIntosh property.
Location of property in Bossier v State Farm relative to McIntosh property.
Location of property in Bossier v State Farm relative to McIntosh property.

(A) The insured property did not fall within any of the three categories of storm damage for which FEMA approved payment of SFIP limits, i.e. insured dwellings that were not left as slabs, pilings, or empty shells; and

B) For which SFIP limits were paid on the grounds the property was a constructive
total loss; and

C) For which no “stick built” or Exactimate estimation of the flood damage was made before the SFIP limits were paid.

Judge Senter is on the right track with the criteria he set for comparable cases.  However, he falls short of the mark needed to know the outer limits of cases that would fall under the qui tam claim filed by the Rigsby sisters – and he is assuming the FEMA directive was legal when clearly it was not.

What’s not hot? Printing presses that ran out of ink. Blogs that had no comments. Granted, Judge Senter’s Order only allows a jury to hear the case and limits the scope to the McIntosh claim; but, that is big news and ignored by the media that ran endless stories discrediting the Rigsby sisters and their claim filed under the False Claims Act.

So, what’s up? A telephone status conference with Judge Walker on the 20th is up on the docket.  If either party is planning an Appeal, work is underway.  Otherwise, I would expect both parties to be weighing options and fine tuning a strategy.  Non parties may be doing likewise – but on that I’m just guessing that State Farm policyholders paid little or nothing on wind damage and maxed out on flood are taking a close look at Judge Senter’s criteria.

SLABBED will continue coverage – examining Judge Senter’s Order in greater detail and monitoring the docket and reporting entries as the case moves toward trial.  Stay tuned.

4 thoughts on “Rigsby qui tam – what’s hot, what’s not, what’s up?”

  1. Excellent post Nowdy and one I lost posting Jim’s excellent column yesterday evening on AIG’s insolvency problems.

    Dr Keith Blackwell appears as one of our Joe Friday metorologists in the Winds of Katrina video that we cyber-premiered last week. Given what State Farm did here blanket paying flood and denying their wind claims I understand why they are scared of the good science he and his collegues performed with respect to the Hurricane.

    The pattern I’ve noticed out of the so called experts used by insurers in these cases that have gone to trial is to use the preliminary NOAA data instead of the final data. To use wind data from anonometers located as far from the center at landfall as opposed to those closest to the insured home and other disingenious tactics that can only lead an impartial observer to conclude they are whores for money with their opinions for rent to the highest bidder.

    Rent an opinion guys like Tim Marshall may have resumes that look good but when you peek under the hood the stench smells worse than dead tuna in New Syrma Beach.

    sop

  2. Thanks, Sop. One comment on “whores”. It’s not that I disagree but the economic reality is pretty grim.

    The company’s that get the opportunity to do work for State Farm (engineer, adjusting, whatever) likely approach the opportunity with integrity. The first time they were asked to do something to the “help” this big client out of a jam, it was probably something small – but as the jam got bigger, the help made them a co-conspirator.

    A whore offers what he/she is selling and I don’t think there were many who offered, I just don’t know what else to call them but they clearly got $%&*@.

    I just hope any that felt forced will come forward and not wait and find themselves the fall guy.

  3. Maybe I’m being a bit too harsh but the sum of my business experience is that no one respects yes men or corporate whores, even the people that are paying them.

    sop

  4. Not too harsh but every whore was once a virgin and some who lost it were raped; with others it was consensual. In context of qui tam litigation, if I were one that felted raped, I’d get help while there was time…

    that’s all I’m saying as I agree totally that no one respects yes men or corporate whores – and I doubt many of the yes men/ whores respect themselves.

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