Slicked and SLABBED – and just flat overwhelmed

Nowadays, the process of selecting a post topic is akin to a game of disaster roulette.  As a result, I was “slicked and slabbed” by “writer’s block” – the chief symptom of same, a growing file of drafts but no post.  Fortunately,  “writer’s block” is not contagious nor does it limit reading.  Thus, I begin my recovery with an update on issues I’ve been following:

Ivor van Heerden lost the second round of his fight to regain his position with LSU:

A federal judge scolded LSU late Thursday for not being “much more professional’’ in parting ways with Ivor van Heerden, but said the respected coastal researcher failed to show that LSU retaliated against him for openly blaming the U.S. government for the levee failures in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

U.S. District Judge James Brady’s refusal to issue a preliminary injunction in van Heerden’s lawsuit against LSU means van Heerden, who has worked at the school for more than 15 years, must clean out his office.

Van Heerden’s attorney, Jill Craft, had asked Brady to “require LSU to keep his position on the books.’’

Craft said she now will move for an expedited jury trial of van Heerden’s suit. Brady said he would entertain such a request. h/t New Orleans News Ladder

Chip Merlin’s Back on the Texas Ranch-Hurricane Litigation and Settlement Discussions are Raging brings us up to date on litigation following Hurricanes Dolly and Ike with news that “TWIA is in trouble”:

In recent discovery, it’s 11.2% maximum damage exposure calculations on Slab claims have been shown to be both arbitrary and wrongly determined. At the Windstorm Symposium in Dallas two weeks ago, my presentation highlighted how TWIA’s calculation was arbitrary. My post, Practical Points From Gulf Coast Case Law Update, noted a recent Mississippi case, Fonte v. Audubon Ins. Co., 8 So. 3d 161 (Miss. 2009), which described how such a pre-determined outcome, despite evidence to the contrary, could give rise to a finding of bad faith. Property Insurers Have An Obligation To Investigate All Facts Supporting Coverage, and the refusal to do so because of some arbitrary statistical analysis is bad faith conduct.

TWIA’s attorneys, if they are honest, have to acknowledge that the calculation was wrongly determined. Even assuming the methodology is sound, the data is wrong and the calculation is far too low. TWIA should be voluntarily paying more benefits, interest and attorneys fees—assuming the current TWIA executives understand their obligation of good faith, which requires such immediate action. Most have a hard time admitting failure and accepting full accountability for wrong decisions. We’ll see what spin those crafty and able insurance defense attorneys are able to place on this situation.

Although I have more catching up to do on the oil spill, I’ll close this update with a picture and the link to the Boston Globe where you’ll find more –  h/t SLABBED readerOne post at a time, I’m back!

Nowdy

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