Folks we have proof positive that alittle Slabbin’ coupled with sunshine makes a difference as yesterday, Liberty Mutual filed a motion to seal the evidence that we presented Monday regarding a policyholder in New Orleans that Liberty Mutual had arrested simply because the policyholder dared to filed a claim for the wind damage that Liberty Mutual promised to cover in their homeowners policy but never did.
Isn’t this so typical of a socially deviant corporate predator insurance company to behave badly and then try to shield their behavior from the public trying to designate their bullshit a trade secret or otherwise confidential. Unfortunately these criminals (and folks lets call this what it is) have enablers in the federal court system, usually in the form of former insurance defense lawyers that bought their way onto the court with the fortunes they made defending insurance companies while in private practice.
US Magistrate Robert Walker is such an example here in Mississippi and there is no shortage of such types in the Louisiana Eastern District such as Judge Kurt Engelhardt. These people provide insurers with the magic jurisdiction needed to hush up the bad behavior. Unfortunately Judge Vance’s Magistrate in Ex Rel Branch, Sally Sushan has proven herself one such enabler. Is it any wonder that out here on Main Street the public’s confidence in getting a fair shake out of our court system is at an all time low.
It is not lost on us that rather than protecting the cause of justice the federal court system instead protects the perpetrators with the use of seals and protective orders. Simply put our courts have sold out to the highest bidder and transparency has been sacrificed at the altar of money and greed.
Before I link the latest bit of tom foolery on part of Liberty Mutual I must note there are other casualties of such predatory behavior besides the policyholder. Insurance agents on Main Street caught a lot of the outrage every day as I illustrated in my 2008 post A Trip Down Memory Lane which featured the CNN special that showed protesters picketing outside the offices of my State Farm agent. Kelly did not deserve the blame for decisions that were made in Bloomington to screw Katrina victims and defraud the taxpayers but he caught the full measure of a community’s outrage after those decisions were made. Our own Lynda is a victim even if she doesn’t understand that yet. Just know we love you Lynda as we wouldn’t take the time to educate you otherwise.
Finally I explained how an organization could get so far off course with my post that illustrates how the field of behavioral economics explains what we term The Scheme, Nowdy’s series that detailed how the taxpayers were defrauded of billions of dollars after Katrina by big insurance. Finally I’d be remiss if I did not mention those on the inside with the fortitude to speak out; people like Karen Clark, and whistleblowers such as our own Kerri and Cori Rigsby who came forward despite the consequences to their careers and reputations. We also have our newest friend Mr Liberty Mutual, a former Liberty Mutual employee who chose to quit rather than conform and was kind enough to link my last post and it is there we visit next:
And yet another fellow blogger takes up the cause. For your reading pleasure I would like to introduce you to the blog titled “Slab”
Your more than welcome to read their latest blog posting here. It’s press like this that will warn people it is too risky to insure with Liberty Mutual. As more people drop their policies with Liberty Mutual and as more blogs like “Slab” take the moral high road to warn the public of the dangers of insuring with Liberty Mutual, the inevitable will happen.
This company will be forced to change or go down as one of the many companies that say’s one thing and does the exact opposite. Preaches responsibility and then turns on it’s policyholders in it’s time of need. I implore everyone who reads this to continue to cancel your policies. Tell everyone you can to cancel their policies. This company will not take action to change their ways until you hit their bottom line.
Is anyone else struck by the arrogance of the legal whores that represent these insurers, no doubt borne of the assistance they have received from certain federal judges in screwing ordinary citizens. Such arrogance, when exposed, looks silly to the public such as when interest conflicted lawyer Gerald Nielsen, a man who represents the NFIP in almost all their cases across the nation suddenly becomes dumb representing an insurer accused of defrauding the same program from which he makes his living. In that same vein enter Judy Barrasso, a lawyer that loves to claim bad faith claims handling is a confidential trade secret and should be sealed from the public. Unfortunately for the cause of justice and since I’m being blunt, the taxpayers are being represented by Alan “Show me the money” Kanner, a trial lawyer of the type that gives all of them a bad name. Lawyers like Kanner flourish in this environment because the US Attorney’s Office has chosen not to do their job protecting the government’s interests in either Ex Rel Branch or Ex Rel Rigsby.
Isn’t it telling that companies celebrate screwing their policyholders when they are most vulnerable, giving recognition to complicit claims employees for socially deviant behavior as illustrated by Unum’s HungryVulture Award or hitting the button on the pink pig at American Family yet they run for the hills when such behavior is exposed. This is clearly illustrated by Liberty Mutual which cited their malicious prosecution of a homeless policyholder after Katrina as proof they were properly discharging their fiduciary duty to the National Flood Insurance program yet now they want to seal it after it was exposed on Slabbed.
Contained within Branch’s Reply is a direct quote from Exhibit 1 to Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company’s (“Liberty Mutual”) Opposition to Branch’s Motion to Compel. See R. Doc. Nos. 387-2 and 395 at p. 11. Exhibit 1 to Liberty Mutual’s Opposition to Branch’s Motion to Compel was ordered sealed by this Court on February 11,2010. See R. Doc. No. 371. Further, on February 15, 2010, Liberty Mutual designated the entirety of its current document production, including those documents contained within Exhibit I to Liberty Mutual’s Opposition to Branch’s Motion to Compel, as “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL” pursuant to this Court’s Order for Production and Exchange of Confidential Information (R. Doc. No. 358).
On February 22, 2010, undersigned counsel contacted counsel for Branch expressing concern regarding Branch’s direct quote to “HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL” material previously ordered sealed. Counsel for Branch assured undersigned counsel that by including such quote, Branch was not trying to circumvent the confidential nature of Liberty Mutual’s documents.
I challenge anyone that represents insurers to come on this blog and explain to us why having a policyholder maliciously charged with insurance fraud is in any way shape or form confidential or a trade secret. You Liberty Mutual people are reading us, come own the decision to run police on a fool’s errand after Katrina to arrest an innocent, homeless policyholder whose only crime was to file a claim for his wind damage. The reality is this is nothing but acting the part of a bully. Meantime in the salons of my fellow Mississippians that so easily cast stones at Kerri and Cori Rigsby I see the exact type of cowardice now lamented by the generation before mine that let Northerners come here and die doing what was right in the 1960s while they took the easy way out by remaining silent preferring to go along to get along. Evil still exists among us, it just takes a different form.
To paraphrase the late general George S Patton and a famous speech he gave before the Normandy landings:
Twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great insurance war after Katrina, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well, your Granddaddy shoveled shit in Oxford.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with Slabbed and a Son-of-a-Goddamned-Bitch named Sop!
We challenge Judge Sarah Vance to make the people’s court and the business conducted inside her courtroom fully transparent so that justice for all instead of the privileged few is served.