How hot is the hot spot for Rigsby qui tam?

Really hot – and much larger than the hot spot identified here and here – if Derek Wyatt’s 30(b)(6) deposition of Stephan Hinkle in Pontius v State Farm is considered:

FireShot capture #024 - 'Popps Ferry Rd, Biloxi, Harrison, Mississippi to 1982 Bayside Dr, Biloxi, MS 39532 - 2
Area identified in quoted text from 30(b)(6) deposition of Stephan Hinkle (A - C) shown with location of McIntosh (D) and Bossier property (E)

I actually was in Biloxi when I wrote…[the Wind-Water Protocol]… And I had done — Iwent out and saw the damage, basically, and saw the — well, the first area I went to when I was there was right near this claim office on Pops Ferry Road in Biloxi (Location A). There’s this development called Destiny Plantation. (Location C) It’s right on the back bay of Biloxi. And I had occasion to drive down there. And I — there, I comprehended the nature of the damage, is what made me kind of outline in my mind how to do this.

But the gate to Destiny Plantation is on Brody Road (Location B), which is about a half a mile inland from the shore. You go in the gate and there was no damage whatsoever to the homes immediately  around the gate. You take the road south toward the bay, and immediately you notice where the water stopped. And by the time you get down to the bay itself, the homes that were built were totally destroyed. They were slab homes. Which indicated to me that we’ve got a situation here.

How many other hot spots were there given the estimated number of  State Farm policyholders with dual coverage Hinkle provided applied to the flooded areas of all three coastal counties and not just this one area in Biloxi?

BY MR. WYATT:

Q. Okay. Before I get too far afield, I want to remember where we started, but you mentioned something yesterday. Mississippi had about 80,000 P&C Katrina claims.

A. Yes.

Q. – – for State Farm?

A. Yes…

Q. In those coastal counties, Harrison, Hancock, Jackson, what percentage of the properties had dual coverages? And by dual, I mean of course I’m talking about flood and HO.

MR. SPRAGINS: I believe this goes outside the designation. However, if you — if you have personal knowledge and it’s — you know, you’re comfortable with it, don’t guess, answer his question.

A. I can’t tell you by county. I can tell you by affected area.

Q. Okay.

A. The homes that had substantial flood damage, only about a third of them had flood insurance.

Q. How many properties are we talking about there?

A. I don’t know. I mean, again, if you want the numbers, I can get the exact numbers.

Q. I realize that. And today, I won’t hold you to if Counsel agrees, your Counsel agrees, I don’t intend to hold you to any exact number.I’m just asking from what your personal knowledge is.

MR. SPRAGINS: Let me put it this way:  He’s saying at this point in time you can guess. He’s not going to hold you to it. So give him your best guess.

MR. WYATT: Well, estimate.

A. I want to say — now, I can’t tell you.  I can tell you I think we had about 20,000…

MR. SPRAGINS: I think he’s saying of the homes that flooded that State Farm had a homeowners coverage, a third of those also had flood coverage.

THE WITNESS: That’s what I’m saying.

How hot will these hot spots make the in camera review of the list of properties State Farm must submit to the Court to comply with Judge Senter’s Order sending the Rigsby qui tam litigation to trial on the McIntosh flood claim? Very, very hot would be a safe guess!

What would be even hotter would be a list of State Farm insured properties in these flooded areas without flood insurance – a list that would flame if the number of those who were told an all-risk State Farm policy would provide all needed coverage.

One thought on “How hot is the hot spot for Rigsby qui tam?”

  1. This comment was sent in from an out of state reader that is also obviously an attorney, one who no doubt practices before Federal Courts where Justice instead of Judge Walker’s Mississippi style Just Us prevails:

    Spragins clearly has never been sanctioned for inappropriate conduct in depositions. That kind of blatant coaching and answering for the deponent is way out of bounds. But, I feel Wyatt’s pain. What do you do, bring it to that Walker character and get scolded for pointing out Spragins’ misconduct?

    I’ll add that this blog is read most days out of all 50 states and several foreign countries and I am personally gratified the outragious conduct of shady insurance defense lawyers like Scot Spragins and their judicial enablers like Magistrate Walker and Judge Ozerden is being noted.

    Spragins obviously could not thrive practicing law on the even playing field that exists in other jurisdictions.

    sop

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