“When Insurers Hide Behind their Experts in Texas” – Merlin’s blog report case involving State Farm and HAAG Engineering


With Larry and his brothers Darryl following the three qui tam cases, I found this Sergio Leal post on Merlin’s blog relevant to the Rigsby qui tam case against defendants State Farm and HAAG Engineering. Read it here and then visit the Property Insurance Coverage Law Blog.  Chip has it loaded with interesting information.

One strategy insurance companies use to avoid bad faith liability is claiming that they reasonably relied on their experts’ reports to deny a claim. Texas law on bad faith states that an insurer breaches its duty of good faith when: (1) denies or delays payment of a claim for which liability is reasonably clear, and (2) the insurer knew or should have known that liability was reasonably clear. Therefore, insurance companies often argue that because their retained experts concluded that there was no valid insurance claim, liability was not reasonably clear and they should not be found liable for bad faith. Courts typically side with insurance companies on this issue, but sometimes the facts of a case require courts to doubt this argument, just as the Texas Supreme Court did in State Farm Lloyds v. Nicolau, 951 S.W.2d 444 (Tex. 1997).

In Nicolau, a homeowner filed a lawsuit against its insurer for foundation and other structural damage that resulted from a plumbing leak that introduced water into the clay subsoil. The insurer retained an expert, HAAG Engineering¸ to conduct a study on the homeowner’s claim. It was established in Nicolau that the insurer hired HAAG Engineering with the belief that HAAG Engineering generally believed that leaks beneath a house would not cause foundation movement. Continue reading ““When Insurers Hide Behind their Experts in Texas” – Merlin’s blog report case involving State Farm and HAAG Engineering”

The Zombie calls Cedric Richmond out to play. A Cedric Richmond Charity Looting Update.

Did Tina take the fall for Cedric? This is the abiding question in my mind based on what we now know. Dambala over at American Zombie has rolled out another great post as he took Mr. CLS’s tip and put alot of meat on dem bones.  As several insurers read us I’ll add if there was a claim the other side of the transaction it would be a very interesting read IMHO.  It also exposes another avenue where others can gain a bit of leverage on ol’ Ced, which can’t be a good thing for his would be constituents in any way shape or form.

So while I’m chasing down Cedric’s connections in Jefferson Parish Government, and yes Virginia there are some, I seem to remember there are some West Bank charity/earmark lootings that were connected to Byron Lee. I’m hoping one of our readers can help jog my memory on that.

Props to Jason for a job well done.

sop

Larry, his brother Darryl and his brother Darryl take their act to the Qui Tam Olympics

A little background here for new readers and a refresher for others:  Larry, a character on the old Newhart show, spoke for himself and his two mute brothers, both of whom were named Darryl. (h/t Sop for the reminder).  “Qui Tam Olympics” is SLABBED shorthand for the insurance industry’s effort to play Mississippi Judge L.T.Senter and the Rigsby qui tam case against Louisiana Judge Sarah Vance and the Branch Consultants’ qui tam case and, now, the Denenea case too.

Got the picture? Meet the cast.  Although the roles change when to their advantage, at the moment Allstate has taken the role of Larry, State Farm that of one Darryl with the rest of the industry playing the other.

In other words, those in the insurance industry that were  “all in it together” – “it” being “the scheme” of fraudulent claims handling that followed Hurricane Katrina – are still “all in it together” with “it” being a pull-the-wool-over-the-court’s-eye scheme to fool the federal courts into dismissing all three qui tam cases. How do I know?  Well, wet wool smells – some say like a wet dog – and I picked up the scent reading documents filed in all three cases.

Hold your nose and I’ll link this wool-pulling scheme to the scheme and the qui tam insurance defendants that are among “The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America”– and, if you’ll follow me as I briefly introduce Moffett, et al v Computer Sciences Corporation, et al (Maryland), I’ll also briefly introduce a breath of fresh air, Opperman, et al v Allstate, et al (New Jersey). Continue reading “Larry, his brother Darryl and his brother Darryl take their act to the Qui Tam Olympics”