The long and short of Judge Vance’s latest order in the Branch Qui Tam case is LETS GET IT ON BECAUSE THIS BABY IS HEADED TO TRIAL. In a 69 page order and reasons Judge Vance lays out a well reasoned legal opinion with only one hiccup for the plaintiffs which we find on page 54:
Pilot Catastrophe Services, Crawford & Company, and NCA Group must be dismissed without prejudice
But even there the news isn’t so bad for the good guys as Judge Vance continues:
the Court grants Branch the opportunity to amend its complaint to allege an adequate factual basis for its allegations.
Rebecca Mowbray at the Times Picayune picks up the coverage:
The whistleblower suit alleging that insurance companies overbilled the National Flood Insurance Program for flood damage so they could get away with paying policyholders less money for wind damage from Hurricane Katrina is about to begin subpoenaing claim files to get to the heart of the case.
Thanks to a 69-page ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Sarah Vance Monday that severed several adjusting firms from the proceedings, the procedural phase of the case is over after two years of motions and appeals.
“We’re now in a position where we can start discovery,” said Allan Kanner, attorney for the Branch Consultants, a group of former insurance adjusters who discovered unusual patterns of how insurers allocated the bills for hurricane damage, and filed suit. “While it doesn’t eclipse the Saints’ victory, it’s one of the best things that’s happened to us in a long time.” Continue reading “Federal District Court Judge offers tutorial Part Deux: Judge Sarah Vance Educates Insurers about Federal Court Jurisdiction in False Claims Act Cases – A Branch Qui Tam Update”