SLABBED not exactly Daily – August 17, 2010

No doubt insurance claims handling after Katrina is reflected in the population loss reported for two of Mississippi’s three Coastal counties:

Here’s a glance at population gains and losses in selected Mississippi counties, according to the Census Bureau website…

Harrison: 189,601 in 2000; estimated 181,191 in 2009. (Down 8,410)
Hancock: 42,967 in 2000; estimated 40,962 in 2009. (Down 2,005)

Opponents of multi-peril insurance offer no alternative for storm victims, an editorial in Sunday’s Sun Herald took the U.S. Chamber of Commence to task for its opposition to Congressman Taylor’s legislation:

The failure of private insurance companies to offer wind coverage to home and business owners in the nation’s coastal regions ought to compel Congress to add wind coverage to the National Flood Insurance Program.

Yet Congressman Gene Taylor’s proposal to do just that is stalled in the House of Representatives.

A primary opponent of Taylor’s proposal is the United States Chamber of Commerce, which four years, eleven months and two weeks after Hurricane Katrina still does not understand the severity of this situation…

If you do business on either the Gulf Coast or the Atlantic Coast, we urge you to contact the U.S. Chamber and urge them to support the only alternative to financial ruin being offered to coastal residents and businesses. Their address is: U.S. Chamber of Commerce; 1615 H St., NW; Washington, DC 20062-2000. Their phone number is (202) 659-6000 and their Web site is Continue reading “SLABBED not exactly Daily – August 17, 2010”

Relators oppose State Farm’s motions to exclude testimony of Rigsbys’ expert witnesses – a Rigsby qui tam update

Earlier this month SLABBED reported Judge Senter’s tell-all Order that revealed “The Relators have identified six expert witnesses, and State Farm Insurance Company (State Farm) has moved the Court to exclude the opinions expressed by all…”.  In his Order, Judge Senter denied State Farm’s motions to exclude the testimony of Patrick J. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.,  and Keith G. Blackwell, Ph.D. with four still to be decided.

The Relators’ Response briefs in opposition to State Farm’s motions leave no doubt that the Rigsbys’ legal team knows “Rule 702 ‘is not intended to provide an excuse for an automatic challenge to the testimony of every expert’ ” and that ‘Relators…need only “demonstrate by a preponderance of evidence that their [expert’s] opinions are reliable. . .questions relating to the bases and sources of an expert’s opinion affect the weight to be assigned that opinion rather than its admissibility and should be left for the jury’s consideration”.

Let’s begin with a look at the Relators’ Opposition to State Farm’s Renewal and Supplementation of its Motion to Exclude Relators’ Expert Witness R. Ralph Sinno, Ph.D:

At the May 2009 hearing, State Farm took the opportunity to cross-examine Dr. Sinno on his knowledge of wind tunneling. Yet State Farm now addresses its “supplementation” at a series of straw man arguments in an attempt to convince this Court to ignore the actual statements and conclusions in Dr. Sinno’s report and testimony. Indeed, State Farm chose not to depose Dr. Sinno, making no effort to test the sufficiency of the opinions they now criticize. Its arguments now lack any foundation or validity…notably, State Farm chose not to include pictures of the back of the McIntosh house, which was completely blown out.  State Farm’s own evidence demonstrates the veracity of Dr. Sinno’s report. (emphasis added)

Responding in Opposition to State Farm’s Renewal and Supplementation of its Motion to Exclude Testimony of David J. Favre, the Relators point out:

Favre did what State Farm refused to do when adjusting this claim—he stick-built an estimate that accounted for all of the flood damage, and only the flood damage. In contrast, State Farm chose instead to employ its Xact Total software to approximate the total value of a house somewhat like the McIntosh house, ignoring the actual flood damage to the home… Continue reading “Relators oppose State Farm’s motions to exclude testimony of Rigsbys’ expert witnesses – a Rigsby qui tam update”