Attorney General Hood wants “whistleblowers” backing up his argument to Judge Barbier

SLABBED reported Judge Barbier’s rockin’ Order and Reasons in Judge Barbier rocks! Rules “claims czar not independent of BP”, including his requirement that all parties file additional briefs by Friday of this week. (Order and Reasons follow in scribd format below)

McClatchy News has a story – Mississippi AG: BP spill victims got ‘stiff-armed’ on claims – indicating Barbier’s rockin’ had AG Hood rollin’ out a call for whistleblowers:

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood wants to hear from whistle-blowers with inside information about how the Gulf Coast Claims Facility is operating.

Hood believes GCCF administrator Ken Feinberg “stiff-armed” claimants on emergency and interim claims because they required no release of the right to sue BP and other parties responsible for the April 2010 Gulf oil catastrophe. When claimants grew desperate, Hood believes, GCCF rolled out final payments that do require waiving the right to sue.

“They’re not following the law,” Hood said. “They’re just trying to coerce people into signing these releases”…

As SLABBED has repeatedly mentioned, Hood learned all he needed to know about “waiving the right to sue” from the MID mediation program that “stiff armed” State Farm policyholder claimants in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

IMO, that lesson accounts for his current insistence that there is no relationship between the number and amount of paid claims and the integrity of the claims process!

Anyone heard a whistle blow?

(Judge Barbier’s Order and Reasons below the jump) Continue reading “Attorney General Hood wants “whistleblowers” backing up his argument to Judge Barbier”

Head-scratching news you can use

First up, the Clarion Ledger reports Funding for Coast hurricane evacuation highway lacking:

A proposal to build a hurricane evacuation highway on the Mississippi Coast has been shelved because of a lack of funding, a transportation official says.

Next, two hurricane-related insurance articles from the Sun Herald starting with USAA says company still writing policies on Coast – “But riskiest customers being dropped”:

Some USAA policyholders are under the impression that the insurance company is no longer offering wind coverage in the three Coast counties, but a company spokesman said Friday that is not true…

The company also is retaining wind coverage already included in 1,200 existing policies in the six South Mississippi counties. Berry was unable to say Friday how many of those policies are in the three Coast counties…Chaney said MID has no authority to prohibit insurance companies from establishing coverage boundaries. Other major carriers have withdrawn coverage from waterfront areas, forcing policyholders into the state wind pool, insurer of last resort for South Mississippians.

Last, but certainly no less newsworthy, 3 Coast insurance bills alive at Capitol:

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, insurers’ denials of storm-damage claims, rising premiums and insurance companies pulling out of South Mississippi made news. Since then, Coast lawmakers have been pushing for a number of changes to Mississippi insurance law.

Coast-backed insurance measures have often died in the Senate Insurance Committee…Sen. David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis…said…“It appears that no insurance reforms will be given consideration under our current Senate Insurance Committee chairman.”

Now, summarizing the news you can use: (1) the state has no money for an alternate evacuation route; (2) a private insurer can cheery pick coverage areas and drop its high-risk policies on the state’s tab because MID lacks the authority to establish coverage boundaries but has money to pay the tab; and (3) the Legislature isn’t going to pass regulations to reduce the tab and apply the savings to funding a more efficient evacuation route.

If that doesn’t make you scratch your head, the Sun Herald story lists and links the three bills still alive: Continue reading “Head-scratching news you can use”