In the last post on Sunquest v Nationwide, SLABBED referred to a second case filed on another Sunquest-owned property in Jackson County, Mississippi:
Considering Nationwide’s success at dragging out the case thus far, it may very well be five years following Katrina before this case settles – and following along behind, Sunquest also has a second Jackson County apartment complex with a Katrina claim in litigation with O’Leary as an Expert Witness is that case, too.
Compass Point litigation, Sunquest v Nationwide II, is not only following behind the litigation on Katrina damage to the Carriage House property, it is all but a mirror image of Sunquest v Nationwide I. The Compass Point Complaint makes the same claims about Nationwide’s conduct and, like the Carriage House litigation, the dispute arises from the Sunquest request for an appraisal.
Nationwide also replicates its attack-strategy defense in Compass Point – or has prior to Judge Senter’s “now-do-you-get-it?” Order:
The Court has before it seven motions that are in many respects similar to the motions I ruled upon in Sunquest Properties, Inc. v. Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Civil Action No. 1:08CV687 LTS-RHW. (Sunquest I) I intend to make the same rulings here, based on the same considerations, findings of fact, and conclusions of law…
Accordingly, it is ORDERED:
That Plaintiffs’ motion  and Defendant’s cross-motion to appoint an Umpire to participate in the appraisal of the total loss (from all causes) sustained by the insured property during Hurricane Katrina is hereby GRANTED; and
That John A. Voelpel, III, of Voelpel Claims Service, Inc., is hereby appointed the Umpire for this appraisal. Mr. Voelpel’s customary fee of $250.00 per hour portal to portal plus travel expenses (mileage at the rate approved for federal employees, airfare, hotel expenses, and meals when appropriate) is hereby ACCEPTED and APPROVED; and
That the appraisal of the total loss (from all causes) sustained by the insured property during Hurricane Katrina shall be completed and the written findings of the appraisal signed by the appraisers and the umpire shall be filed with the Court in this action within sixty days of the date of this order.
Nationwide’s motions seeking to disqualify Lewis O’Leary (O’Leary) from further participation in this action as an appraiser and as an expert witness are hereby DENIED for the same reasons, and upon the same terms, set forth in my prior opinion and order in Sunquest I dealing with the issue of O’Leary’s qualifications.
Nationwide’s motion to strike the report and testimony of Plaintiffs’ expert, John Myers, is hereby GRANTED, and Plaintiffs will not be allowed to call John Myers as an expert witness.
Nationwide’s motion for summary judgment is DENIED.
Needless to say, Judge Senter noticed the mirror image resemblence of the two cases. Nationwide would be well served by a look at what its claims handling practices following Katrina and conduct in related litigation reflect about the Company’s commitment to its policyholders – but it’s not going to see “the fairest of all” if it looks in the “mirror, mirror” on its wall.