“It is my conclusion that the envelope of the structure was ruptured by wind and wind-driven debristhat allowed the winds and debris to enter the home and cause interior damage.” October 10, 2007 Deposition of Brian Ford in McIntosh v State Farm(13-16, page 80)
Brian Ford’s engineering report on damage to the McIntosh property is central to the merits of the Rigsbys’ qui tam case. When the deposition of former Forensic’s engineer Brian Ford continued on January 11, 2008, State Farm launched an all-out attack on Mr. Ford’s credibility that continues to this day.
During that deposition, Ford was asked if the Scruggs Katrina Group (SKG) had paid him for any services. Ford’s testimony on lines 6 – 22 of deposition page 337 follows:
Q Do you have an understanding, either expressed or implied, that Mr. Wyatt, Mr. Scruggs, David Nutt, Meg McAlister, or anybody from the SKG or Katrina litigation group is going to pay you something for your services today?
Q Have they paid you anything to-date?
Q Have you asked for payment?
A No. We discussed a consulting service agreement many months ago and we never reached an agreement. We never consummated an agreement. And I haven’t provided a service and they haven’t paid for it.
Q You have provided no services?
A I haven’t provided them consulting services, no.
State Farm’s attempt to make fantasy into reality had reached such a fevered pitch by January 2008 that Ford refuted the Company’s allegations and innuendo in an Affidavit that should have put an end to State Farm’s game.
Fast forward to July 2010 and, despite already having all the answers, State Farm is “dickin” around and playing its Brian Ford fantasy game in the Eastern District Kentucky Federal Court:
SLF should be compelled to secure Mr. Scruggs’s full cooperation with its discovery obligations. Finally, as State Farm explained in its opening brief, should Mr. Scruggs decide not to acooperate with SLF – even in part – on the basis of a purported Fifth Amendment privilege, sanctions against SLF are appropriate.
Since I’m not a lawyer, I have no idea of the legal term for “an Aha moment” but I know one when I see it and this is definitely one. Aha! State Farm is so desperate – and so guilty – that the Company’s only hope is to create a “Scruggs sideshow”! However, if the Company keeps “dickin” around in Kentucky someone is going to do the math and question why Forensic’s settlement agreement with the Rigsby sisters only mentions 19 policyholder claims with two engineering reports.
A look at Forensic’s admissions, however, provides ample evidence of State Farm’s compelling need to go “dickin” around in Kentucky:
WHEREAS Forensic admits that it understood State Farm’s financial interest in having engineering reports submitted by Forensic that attributed the cause of storm damage to flood rather than storm winds;
WHEREAS Forensic admits that it believed State Farm would not continue employing Forensic unless Forensic agreed with State Farm’s assessment that the properties where
secondary reports were requested were damaged predominately by water instead of wind and focused on any possible evidence of flood damage to support that finding;
WHEREAS Forensic admits that at State Farm’s request, Forensic sent a second professional engineer t0 re-evaluate 19 loss sites, and Forensic admits that it changed the conclusions in those 19 reports based on the second engineer’s inspection and after the initial reports were already sent to State Farm;
WHEREAS Forensic admits that it was asked not to perform a thorough structural evaluation or cost appraisal of the amount of damage identified at a given site, and Forensic agreed to follow State Farm’s instructions to describe only the predominant cause of damage to a home when attributing that damage to wind or flood;
WHEREAS Forensic admits that for certain properties it submitted subsequent reports that did not reference the existence of the initial report and that such a practice allowed State Farm t0 have the option of either removing and replacing the initial report in its file if it so chose…
Tip of the iceberg! Could this be the reason State Farm is withdrawing from the NFIP’s Write Your Own Program?