chain, chain, chain of fools – Liberty Mutual’s and Standard Fire’s motions to break chain and sever from Branch defendants

Aretha I’m not but a chain of fools I can spot –  and, despite their claims to the contrary, there’s no weak link between either Liberty Mutual or Standard Fire and the other Branch defendants.  I will concede, however, both companies rattle the chain more than most.  In fact, they make so much noise that I would have missed the motions to sever each filed in January had the two defendants not recently filed motions for leave to Reply to the Branch Response in Opposition to their motions..

Apparently, I’m not the only one who ignored the rattling and moved on.  While both argue against being joined with other defendants, the two companies are obviously joined in a defense strategy to sever.  Each requested a hearing on its motion on the same day, the 3nd of February, a date that passed without a response from the Court.  Perhaps, I’m not the only one these two links in the “chain” didn’t fool.

The WYO Accounting Procedures Manual, Exhibit 1 to the Branch Opposition brief, documents the link. Liberty Mutual makes a foolish attempt to fool the Count by claiming Branch “espouses a new theory of liability” by arguing “the defendants’ unauthorized/fraudulent use of the DHHS PMS” as sufficient to “satisfy Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20(a)(2)’s requirement that the right to relief against joined defendants must arise out of the same series of transactions or occurrences”.

Surely, neither defendant expects the Court to believe its company does not have to use the established NFIP procedures and system to file flood claims!  The word games these two companies are playing is based on the same flawed analysis of policyholder claims data used to justify streamlined or steamrolled procedures.

Granted, each claim represents a different property and all that claim handling entails. However, the Feldman procedures erred because the number one insurer’s claims are to the total number of claims is a reliable indicator of nothing other than the calculated percentage.  Likewise, the number of exemplary claims Branch cited for a single defendant insurer is not a statistically reliable indicator of the extent of the alleged fraud.  The Branch opposition brief picks up from there: Continue reading “chain, chain, chain of fools – Liberty Mutual’s and Standard Fire’s motions to break chain and sever from Branch defendants”

Slabbed news miscellany: A few stories we are following plus Sunday Music

First up is several links involving the Feral lawman aka the NOPD and the developing story of the indictment and plea deal of Michael Lohman who was involved in the coverup of the shooting of unarmed civilians after Katrina. The Times Picayune in partnership with ProPublica has done an excellent series of articles on lawmen gone wild after Katrina in New Orleans, one of which we posted on late last year. We’re filling the print coverage void in Jefferson Parish and are content to let the Times Picayune’s excellent reporting on this stand on its own. Today I feature two Oped’s, the first from James Gill who takes disgraced former US Attorney turned former NOLA District Attorney Eddie Jordan to task for his actions in the city investigation. IMHO Eddie is most deserving of indictment and if there is not a law against being a feckless incomp maybe there ought to be one. The second column by Jarvis Deberry is a scathing indictment of soon to be former Police Chief Warren Riley who promised to find out what happened on the Danziger Bridge, then promptly did nothing even going so far as to recently admit he never bothered to read his own department’s report on the shootings. Maybe Jim Letten can spare an indictment of Mr Riley as he deserves to be sharing jail cells with these thugs called New Orleans police officers. Continue reading “Slabbed news miscellany: A few stories we are following plus Sunday Music”

How about a bit of petty corruption Mississippi style: All your base are belong to us

Cotton Fore unmasked

Anita Lee tells the story. In a comment to Anita’s story I shared what I was thinking, so lets reverse things and start with my remark: 

It was mighty dry last May/June and hot too. Instead of hooking into the line next door and then making that “mistake” why didn’t Cotton simply have his plumber fix his line. This stinks to high heaven including “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” Jim Simpson. I suspect several of the interviewees noses grew several inches after talking with Anita and Robin 

Does this remind anyone of V? 

Here is a snippet from Anita’s story on one of the wealthiest and politically connected businessmen in Harrison County filching water from what appears to be a willing victim in the Harrison County Development Commission: Continue reading “How about a bit of petty corruption Mississippi style: All your base are belong to us”

Debbie Villio come on down to The Price is Right!

Whitmergate fortified with Rebel Yell did the work (As a guy who traces paternal roots root to ol’ Kentucky I prefer Pappy but my mind is open). Slabbed reports you decide:

Ms. Villio filed a financial report, “Committee To Elect Debbie Villio” for monies received from a “breakfast fundraiser” on her behalf. This fundraiser was staged in June of 2009 while she was still Director of Code for Jefferson Parish. The Personnel Rules of Jefferson Parish specifically prohibit “any” political activity by an employee of the Parish, to wit Ms. Villio.

The people in code enforcement also have a hand in zoning decisions besides inspecting construction. This is a graft rich area in many states besides Louisiana. I took the liberty of visiting the Ethics Administration and running a few reports which I then combined and now present to the Slabbed Nation courtesy of Scribd. Enjoy while I put a short post together for the freaks at West Jefferson Medical Center: Continue reading “Debbie Villio come on down to The Price is Right!”

Slabbed updates Dr Death and an ill advised lawsuit.

Folks I know we swim against public opinion on this topic but we continue to hope the unfortunate patients at Memorial Hospital receive a measure of justice. We covered the New York Times story, which took a critical look at the events here, and contrasted Dr Life with Dr Death in a post that also covered the ill-advised lawsuit which contained actual reader pics from Charity Hospital here. Robin Fields of ProPublica has the story for the Times Picayune:

A ruling issued Wednesday by a federal judge in Louisiana will effectively result in the dismissal of a libel lawsuit filed last year against ProPublica and the New York Times.

The case concerned “The Deadly Choices at Memorial,” an article written by ProPublica’s Sheri Fink and published in August in The New York Times Magazine.

The story reported how, in the chaos after Hurricane Katrina, some health professionals at Memorial Medical Center in New Orleans injected severely ill patients — more patients than had previously been known — with lethal doses of drugs. Continue reading “Slabbed updates Dr Death and an ill advised lawsuit.”

Le depart de siree

Long time readers of Slabbed know there was no way that we would pass on the story of Desiree Rogers being shown the door by Team Obama yesterday. We were early innovators on Ms Rogers with Nowdy’s post from November 2008 originally titled “Guess our invitation won’t be in the mail” where she profiled Ms Rogers’ ties to Allstate which became fodder for friendly banter on the Yahoo Allstate Finance board, most of it not complimentary toward her.

More recently Ms Rogers became famous for not doing her job at the state dinner when Tareq and Michaele Salahi crashed the party by bullshitting their way in and then for several other mixups since. Naturally one would expect the hometown newspaper would tell the kindest version of the story but I’ll add based on what our friends from Ms Rogers last employer tell us she is far from a pillar of any business community let alone the high-powered one in Chicago. The reality is she is intelligent and highly attractive but more important connected, first via her father and then her ex-husband. As Nowdy observed after party-gate she was seemingly ignorant of her place in the White House pecking order.  We let Ms Rogers hometown paper tell the story:

White House Social Secretary Desiree Rogers announced today that she will be stepping down from her job. Continue reading “Le depart de siree”

streamlined or steamrolled – Judge Martin Feldman’s influence on Katrina litigation

Although I’d learned enough about “Who Dat” Judge Martin Feldman… to write the post, I’d found nothing to adequately explain how such an obviously bright man would embarrass himself with the errors he made in deciding Versai.  Credit for my increased understanding goes to the SLABBED reader who sent a link to reporter Kim Quillen’s August 27, 2008, story Insurers use federal cash to help pay claims that included this additional background on Judge Feldman:

Judge Martin Feldman, who took the lead developing procedures to streamline the flow of cases in federal court, said the pace of settlement has been uneven. He signed 50 dismissal orders last week, for example, but said his efforts to resolve several hundred State Farm and Allstate cases swiftly have not paid off…

But Feldman said once the major questions of law created by the storm have been settled, cases should not go to trial.

“No great principle, other than ‘I bought insurance and I want my money,’ are at stake, and those tend to settle,” Feldman said. “They basically only involve issues of money and not issues of deep social and moral principle. Cases of deep social principle should go to trial. Cases of money should settle.”

“Who Dat” elitist?

Judge Martin Feldman showed his colors in Versai – a true blue outcome-oriented judicial activist who led the law where he wanted it to go.  Otherwise, were he to allow the law to lead, his decisions would not be consistent with his perspective on Katrina litigation or his “procedures to streamline” the litigation process. Continue reading “streamlined or steamrolled – Judge Martin Feldman’s influence on Katrina litigation”

Slabbed Updates the Jefferson Parish Front: Theriot is toast. Anne Marie Vandenweghe files a Whistleblower Suit.

You already have put the parish in a bad position Mr Theriot. I won’t speculate whether you realize that yet but if you really want to do right by the citizens of Jefferson parish you sir should resign……

We knew early yesterday what the public now knows concerning the events surrounding the Tuesday Night Massacre where 3 honest Parish Attorneys were taken to the chop shop by interim Parish President Steve Theriot in a last-ditch effort to save his partner in crime Tom Wilkinson. Theriot’s actions were plain stupid but it also betrayed a mindset replete with denial as the gang still does not see the coming freight train that is steam rolling through Jefferson Parish. Inherent to Theriot’s actions was a business as usual attitude most likely coupled with the assumption the investigation had been contained. As we find out such is not the case. Chris Finch has the story for Fox 8:

Two Jefferson Parish attorney’s, including the parish attorney himself, have been placed on paid leave. The other attorney, Anne Marie Vandenweghe, filed a Whistleblower protection lawsuit and now her suspension has peaked the interest of federal investigators.

Parish President Steve Theriot placed Wilkinson on paid administrative leave on Thursday morning.

“I can’t really discuss why, but I put him on leave this morning,” said Theriot.

Wilkinson is under investigation by the parish Personnel Board. Board members believe he may have violated a parish law that prohibits most employees from engaging in political activity. Wilkinson declined to comment on his suspension. Continue reading “Slabbed Updates the Jefferson Parish Front: Theriot is toast. Anne Marie Vandenweghe files a Whistleblower Suit.”