Yesterday it was the 5th Circuit that bitch slapped Randy and the Lafayette legal team as the folks at United Fire Group aka United Fire and Casualty Company aka Lafayette Insurance sink to new lows trying to hose Aunt Sally’s Praline Shop in a case that once again reveals how insurers misuse and abuse the court system, making it an adjunct of their bad faith claims handling processes:
More than 18 months of discovery and other pre-trial proceedings followed United Fire’s initial answer. A few weeks before the scheduled trial date in June 2008, United Fire declared its intention to raise specific policy exclusions at trial. At the pretrial conference, United Fire enumerated each of the policy exclusions it intended to assert. Aunt Sally’s filed a motion in limine seeking to prohibit United Fire from belatedly asserting those defenses, citing the prejudice it would suffer in attempting to refute United Fire’s arguments without the benefit of discovery. The district court agreed and granted Aunt Sally’s motion. Although the trial date was then continued at United Fire’s request for several months, the district court agreed to the continuance on the basis of keeping the case in its then current posture. That is, no further amendments to the pleadings, no additional discovery and no further deadline extensions. Although United Fire later asked for another continuance, trial was scheduled for, and commenced on, September 29, 2008. At the conclusion of trial, the jury found in favor of Aunt Sally’s on all claims, and returned a verdict of $364,671.00 in damages and $114,234.00 in penalties. That award was based on the jury’s specific finding, as required under Louisiana law, that United Fire’s failure to pay Aunt Sally’s claims was arbitrary, capricious or without probable cause.
I bet after Randy hosed Aunt Sally he stole a sucker from a baby. Now Randy and the gang need to pay up. My mind is open to the possibility United Fire continues to issue misleading financial statements that are not properly reserved for their contractual liabilities related to Katrina.
As they say in this part of the country, Randy va te faire foutre, vas te faire encule beaucoup.