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.
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.
State Farm’s counterclaim formalizes the various accusations hurled at the Rigsby sisters in it’s coordinated legal and media campaign to discredit their qui tam claim. The Company claims damages and seeks various relief including an unbelievable permanent injunction to prohibit the Rigsbys from further using or disclosing in any manner whatsoever evidence of State Farm’s criminal enterprise and rampant fraud against the United States taxpayer.
As they have done consistently throughout their representation of the Rigsbys, Counsel for the Relators transcends accusations intended to inflame and addresses legal arguments to legal arguments in the Relators’ Answer to State Farm and Casualty Company’s Second Amended Counterclaim.
The Rigsbys’ set out 17 Affirmative Defenses that provide context and clarity for various events and/or actions and Defenses I through V make it clear Relators were privileged to make copies of information in order to report criminal activity; that they were:
contractually required to act…[and]…
To the extent that State Farm seeks to assert a cause of action on the basis of this contract, the cause of action is barred by the doctrine of impossibility of performance…[and]…
Permitting State Farm to shield its criminal, unlawful and fraudulent acts in violation of 31 USC § 3729 from public view by enforcing State Farm’s access agreement would be unconscionable and in violation of the public policy associated with immunity for truthfully reporting criminal activities of others…
Here, State Farm seeks injunctive and other equitable relief not because it has been injured financially, but as yet another way to shield its criminal and civil fraudulent conduct from the sunshine of public inspection and judicial scrutiny. State Farm asks for injunctive relief not to further equitable ends, but to keep hidden its unlawful conduct. Willful misconduct is to be condemned as wrongful by honest and fair-minded men, and courts of equity do not give countenance to inequity nor give it sanctuary…
Because State Farm does not have clean hands in any respect, and because a party seeking equity must do equity, State Farm’s counterclaim should be dismissed.
Affirmative Defense VI through XIV assert State Farm fails to state a claims under various Rules applicable to the Company’s Counterclaim I through IX . The three additional Affirmative Defenses (XV, XVI, and XVII) conclude the Rigsbys’ Answer.
Since at least September 3, 2005, State Farm and its other many co-conspirators have been engaged in a concerted effort to defraud the United States through its National Flood Insurance Program…
State Farm cannot pawn off on the Relators the costs relating to the defense of their own criminal conduct by claiming that the damages relate to the access of its computer systems. Neither can State Farm make out a claim that a systematic plan to cheat the federal government, the roughly 173,000,000 United States taxpayers, and the Mississippi policy-holders out of billions of dollars is a “trade secret” as that term is commonly understood.
All of State Farm’s damages were caused directly by its conduct and are not the responsibility of the Relators…By the clear terms of its promise to Relators in the Code of Conduct, State Farm’s claims against Relators are barred by the doctrine of estoppel.
State Farm’s claims fail to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted because they are all barred by 31 USC § 3730(h) in that they are asserted for the purpose of vexation and delay…
The acts of the Relators were lawful in that they were aimed at exposing criminal wrongdoing and civil fraud under the explicit terms of the False Claims Act.
State Farms claims in all counts are in express violation of 31 USC § 3730(h) and are further proof of the defendant’s own retaliatory conduct in this matter.
Until SLABBED updates the qui tam legal file, both versions of State Farm’s Amended Answer and Counterclaim are available in previously published posts and accessible via the site search (upper right of page).