“Thomas “Chris” McIntosh trusted insurance companies before Hurricane Katrina…My grandfather was in the insurance business. My father was in the insurance business, and I grew up trusting the insurance business…you knew if you paid your premiums, they would take care of you…I trusted State Farm when they walked in my door, and I had no reason to distrust them. I had trusted them for 20 years, and I trusted them for the year after that they lied to me and defrauded me, and now I probably will never trust anybody again in my life.”
Anita Lee’s Homeowner lambasts State Farm, appearing in today’s Sun Herald, reports McIntosh speaking on the record about his settlement with State Farm – in contrast to the record speaking for McIntosh:
“As part of the settlement, the McIntoshes acknowledged in the dismissal order entered into the court record that State Farm had a “reasonable basis” for its original payment and adjusted the claim fairly.
State Farm attorney Robert Galloway quizzed McIntosh about the dismissal order during the pretrial testimony. Galloway asked McIntosh if he agreed the majority of damage to his property was caused by flooding, as the order said. McIntosh said he did not know.
“So you don’t disagree with that?” Galloway asked. “You’re just saying you don’t have personal knowledge one way or the other?
As a long day of questions drew to a close, McIntosh responded: “I vehemently disagree, and I disagreed with this and was extremely (upset) at my counsel when I read this.
“I didn’t approve it. I didn’t read it in advance. I have no doubt that State Farm wrote it and gave it to my counsel; and at this point, we were financially unable to continue, and the message was sent to us that — excuse my language — but we would never see a (expletive) dime if we didn’t settle now. It would be appealed till hell froze over.”
Almost two years after Thomas and Pamela McIntosh sued State Farm, charging that the company altered a damage report to intentionally underpay their Katrina claim, the lawsuit has been settled confidentially. (Judge Senter’s Judgment of Dismissal)
Let’s begin by contrasting this statement made by the relators in the filing Nowdy profiled against today’s well written Anita Lee piece in the Sun Herald.
Upon information and belief, the McIntosh case was settled in its entirety late in the evening on Saturday, September 6, 2008. The next day, Sunday, September 7th, the plaintiff filed a motion to dismiss that was laden with gratuitous praise with respect not only to the wind claims at issue in that case, but also to the McIntoshes’ flood claim. The motion reads like a document written by (or for) State Farm for use in this case, and the timing alone raises enormous issues of credibility. The motion also fails to provide any basis for its conclusory statements. As a result, any attempt to use the McIntosh motion to dismiss in this case will only raise more material issues of disputed facts.
From Lee’s story:
A State Farm news release issued after the McIntosh settlement became final Monday said, in part, that Scruggs “made up allegations in this lawsuit to launch a public relations plan to lure politicians, the media and others into publicly attacking State Farm. This was a tactic that diverted precious time and resources away from resolving Katrina claims.”
The Rigsbys’ attorney, Scott Gilbert, said… “All these cases have been focused for too long on Dick Scruggs and that has obscured what is really the issue,” Gilbert said. “And that is, did State Farm violate the provisions of their insurance policies and commit fraud against the policyholders and the government of the United States?
” Here, this Court’s own records, whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned, indicate that the McIntoshes made their well-informed representations to this Court…”