You go girls – Rigsbys answer State Farm’s counterclaim

Relators deny that information about a criminal enterprise and rampant fraud against the United States taxpayer is in any way commercially sensitive, confidential, or private information.

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Now do u c it?

As someone with no law degree writing about Katrina litigation, I’ve often thought of the litigation process as justice at dance.  All parties begin with feet together; every move thereafter choreographed by the Rules.

Complaints, step one in this ritual, require a corresponding Answer.  A well written complaint tells the plaintiffs story in an engaging way.  However, a well written Answer, or so I’ve gathered, can be an endless list of some variation on the dry as dirt “deny paragraph”.

Thereafter, however, the litigation process is a series of moves by one party and corresponding moves  by the other with the moving party always in the lead – although the matter in  litigation defines the process as a waltz, a tango, or, as is the case in ex rel Rigsby v State Farm,  a bombom, doo wop doot doot because State Farm answered with a counterclaim. Continue reading “You go girls – Rigsbys answer State Farm’s counterclaim”

Anyone else remember that Federal Judge that actually lives up to his oath of office

Justin Maxon / The New York Times

I sure do as the blogger who would become known as Bam Bam Bigelow authored the post on him for Slabbed late last month. Yesterday Judge Jed S. Rakoff lowered the boom on both Bank of America and the captured (and toothless) regulators at the Securities and Exchange Commission. Nowdy, I sure do miss that SEC employee who had plenty of time to come here and trash the Rigsby sisters back in 2008 before George Bush and his band of idiots had to vacate DC taking their political hacks with them. After all what was evidently more important at the SEC in 2008 than trashing whistleblowers? It sure as hell wasn’t regulating these companies that took us all to the verge of bankruptcy last year.

The New York Times has the story with a hat tip to Professor Russ Abbott who was kind enough to link our earlier coverage. Welcome to slabbed Russ:

As President Obama traveled to Wall Street on Monday and chided bankers for their recklessness, across town a federal judge issued a far sharper rebuke, not just for some of the financiers but for their regulators in Washington as well.

Giving voice to the anger and frustration of many ordinary Americans, Judge Jed S. Rakoff issued a scathing ruling on one of the watershed moments of the financial crisis: the star-crossed takeover of Merrill Lynch by the now-struggling Bank of America.

Judge Rakoff refused to approve a $33 million deal that would have settled a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission against the Bank of America. The lawsuit alleged that the bank failed to adequately disclose the bonuses that were paid by Merrill before the merger, which was completed in January at regulators’ behest as Merrill foundered. Continue reading “Anyone else remember that Federal Judge that actually lives up to his oath of office”

And the beat does go on, as in the beat down of the taxpayers and the NFIP by shady insurers

As the Houston Chronicle illustrated in their 1st anniversary of Ike coverage, not only do the taxpayers get stuck with the wind claims insurers dump on the NFIP they also get stuck for the bill for the living expenses these all perils contracts should cover but never do. As a between the lines reader stated in an email:

What this article leaves unstated is that these lengthy disputes over causation ultimately cost federal taxpayers billions of dollars unnecessarily. The federal government pays for trailers, housing vouchers, subsidized loans, tax deductions, grants, and other benefits to assist displaced residents who are engaged in legal disputes with their insurers or who have unintentional gaps in their coverage despite buying all that was recommended by their insurance agents. Meanwhile, because of the delay in the housing recovery, the federal government subsidizes local governments, schools, hospitals, and businesses for extended periods of time until the local tax and consumer base can be restored.

Gang does any of this sound familiar? One key difference is without expedited claims Texas homeowners are having to go after both the NFIP and their wind insurer to be made whole on the coverage they were sold that in theory should fully cover their losses but rarely does without having to sue.

Life in a trailer in his driveway is a daily reminder of Hurricane Ike for Michael Amoroso.

After waiting months for a response from the National Flood Insurance Program, he was declined a bigger payment that he had hoped to use to rebuild.

For Amoroso and other homeowners like him, the storm did more than damage their property. The unrepaired houses and pending insurance claims are a daily test of their will.

“For months they didn’t even return my phone calls or e-mails,” said Amoroso, who plans to sue for more funds. “I am so fed up.” Continue reading “And the beat does go on, as in the beat down of the taxpayers and the NFIP by shady insurers”

Proof positive that when I take some time away from Slabbed I don’t read the news much

There was a major settlement in the Mr GO case last week we flat out missed but thanks to a couple of loyal readers we’re getting brought back to speed very quickly. I’m certain Editilla had the Times Picayune story hung on the Ladder so he gets a hat tip too. First off an excerpt from a reader email:

In a nutshell, this fund will pay only the attorney’s costs and expenses. There are 500,000 class members, and $20 million in settlement funds. That’s $40/class member before expenses and fees. The attorneys are not taking “fee”, but are getting an “enhancement” on their costs and expenses (i.e. making a profit on their clients).

Then some sage analysis:

It will be too costly to allocate and distribute the funds that will be left over after expenses. Each class member has the right to come before the court and object to their allocation. That’s a half-million potential objectors. Read closely the court’s statements on cy pres awards. I would be willing to bet the court gives the money to levee research or something similar.

Not knowing what the heck a Cy pres award was I did a bit of checking and found both the definition and the racket.

The term cy pres refers to a court-ordered award to a charitable organization of the excess, unallocated, unclaimed or undeliverable funds in a class-action judgment or settlement, or actions in which funds set aside for reimbursement cannot be distributed due to manageability concerns.

The bottom line for the class members who lost their homes due to design flaws in the New Orleans levee system is there is a good chance they will receive nothing for their losses Continue reading “Proof positive that when I take some time away from Slabbed I don’t read the news much”