You see, State Farm has a bank. A thrift to be exact. And it likes to offer loans, and other banking products to its insurance customers. But the people that they do this through are not employees of State Farm. They are the various independent agents (as State Farm likes to call them) that run State Farm offices.
Russell introduced State Farm’s Bank so well in A different State Farm Battle (January 2008) that it seemed appropriate to give it another run. It should come as no surprise that State Farm’s website has a more formal introduction (another h/t to Steve):
State Farm Bank, F.S.B. received formal approval for a thrift charter from the Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) in November 1998 and is generally referred to as “State Farm Bank®”. Its focus is on consumer-oriented financial products, complementing State Farm’s insurance focus on personal lines.
State Farm Bank is a nontraditional financial institution and does not have branch offices. The bulk of direct customer interaction and product assistance is provided by State Farm® agents, augmented by a telephone call center, mail and the Internet. As of December 31, 2005, the Bank held $12 billion in total assets.
Documents filed in Katrina litigation introduce State Farm’s Bank in a different light – suggesting just how nontraditional it may have been following the storm. In fact, the amended RICO complaint added the State Farm Bank as a Defendant:
… State Farm Bank is wholly-owned by State Farm Mutual, and is headquartered in Bloomington, Illinois. As of March 21, 2003, State Farm Bank had assets totaling in excess of 5,000,000,000 (five billion) U.S. dollars.
State Farm Bank aided and abetted a civil conspiracy by providing substantial assistance in carrying out the civil conspiracy. State Farm Bank aided and abetted a civil conspiracy by committing one or more tortious acts in concert with State Farm, or pursuant to a common design, engaged in same with State Farm.
State Farm Bank knew that State Farm’s conduct in the civil conspiracy was a breach of duty to the Plaintiffs as insured policyholders, and yet the Defendants and each of them gave substantial assistance or encouragement to the scheme. State Farm Bank’s aiding and abetting a civil conspiracy to conduct corrupt property inspections and procure contrived inspection reports was a direct and proximate cause of damages sustained by Plaintiffs.
Interestingly, the Forensic Rebuttal to Relator’s Response to Motion for Clarification of Order Denying Motion for Summary Judgment ignores the obvious connection and steps over those issues to get to the Brian Ford deposition: Continue reading “Behind door #2 – Come on down State Farm Bank (the good neighbor, the good customer, and the Rigsby qui tam)”
President Obama signed the Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act containing significant amendments to False Claims Act the very day on May 20,2009 – the very day the pre-trial hearing on the Rigsby qui tam claim commenced in Southern District Mississippi Federal Count.
Among the most significant provisions of the new law are its amendments to the False Claims Act, 31 USC §§ 3729-33 (FCA). According to the Senate Judiciary Committee Report, these amendments—the first substantive revisions to the FCA in more than 22 years—were enacted to reverse judicial interpretations which “undermined” the statute by “limiting the scope of the law…”
The cumulative impact of these amendments is to alter significantly the landscape of FCA jurisprudence.
One analysis posed the question when is an amendment not an amendment. The answer – or rather the answer from the perspective of Congress – is when amendments are made as clarification to reflect the original intent of the law.
F. SECTION 4(F). EFFECTIVE DATE AND APPLICATION
(f) Effective Date and Application- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on the date of enactment of this Act and shall apply to conduct on or after the date of enactment, except that– Continue reading “Amendments to False Claims Act – implications for Katrina qui tam litigation”
SLABBED provided the post-hearing briefs – Read ‘em while they’re hot – briefs filed by State Farm, Haag, Forensic, and Rigsbys post-hearing in the Rigsby qui tam – and linked the documents filed by the defendants following Judge Senter’s Order – Evideniary disclosure is Michael Oher of Rigsby qui tam.
Claiming the Forensic motion for clarification is an impermissible attempt to relitigate issues that were correctly decided in the first place, today the Rigsbys filed Relators’ Opposition to Motion of Forensic Analysis & Engineering Corporation for Clarification of Order Denying Motion for Summary Judgment.
Forensic’s Motion to Reconsider should be denied because it merely rehashes the arguments Forensic previously made without pointing to any newly discovered evidence or identifying any manifest error. See also… (“F.R.Civ.P. 59. . . is not a vehicle for a litigant to ask the Court to reconsider adverse decisions it is simply unwilling to accept.”)…
Forensic, like Haag, attempts to hang its hat on the date the McIntosh claim was paid – grasping at a straw man, no doubt encouraged by State Farm.
Forensic argues that, notwithstanding the evidence of its conspiracy, the Relators’ claims against it should be dismissed for the simple reason that Forensic’s involvement in the McIntosh claim began after the flood claim had already been paid. Motion to Reconsider at 3-4. This argument is wrong for several reasons. Continue reading “Rigsbys respond to Forensics – an impermissible attempt to relitigate issues that were correctly decided in the first place”
Evidentiary disclosure is Michael Oher protecting the Rigsby qui tam.
Nonetheless, State Farm, Forensics, and Haag each recently took a shot – a strategic play intended to force Judge Senter to reveal his game plan.
On its face, Judge Senter’s focus on the McIntosh claim seems too narrow. In the context of evidentiary disclosure in qui tam litigation, however, it takes on a different look – one that makes evidence such as the McIntosh claim secondary to the scheme of the fraud. A Fifth Circuit decision explains:
We hold that to plead with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud for a False Claims Act § 3729(a)(1) claim, a relator’s complaint, if it cannot allege the details of an actually submitted false claim, may nevertheless survive by alleging particular details of a scheme to submit false claims paired with reliable indicia that lead to a strong inference that claims were actually submitted.
The “reliable indicia” include those contained in the Complaint as well as the those in the Disclosure Statement. Continue reading “Evideniary disclosure is Michael Oher of Rigsby qui tam”
keep in mind the purpose of this hearing. We’re dealing here with summary motions, we’re dealing here with is there a genuine issue of material fact that will justify this case going forward to a full-blown trial. Would y’all like to brief that for me in writing rather than come back this afternoon and argue? What about it, Plaintiff?
Who wouldn’t rather write a brief than “come back this afternoon” on a Friday? No wonder Judge Senter is so well-liked. The post-hearing briefs were filed directly with Judge Senter, as ordered, and did not appear on PACER until today – the result of a State Farm motion SLABBED reported in up their sleeve or in their briefs – State Farm comes up with another Eddie Haskell motion in Rigsby qui tam
Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this Action at the trial court level, there likely will be an appeal by one or more Parties and “[u]nder this Circuit’s general rule, arguments not raised before the district court are waived and will not be considered on appeal unless the party can demonstrate ‘extraordinary circumstances.’”
Had State Farm said no more in Defendants’ Joint Motion to Require All Parties to File their Previously Submitted Respective Post-Hearing Briefs in the Record, there might have been a different title; but, this paragraph followed:
Further, as a general proposition, the Fifth Circuit “is barred from considering filings outside the record on appeal….” Accordingly, it is especially important to all Parties’ respective ability to prosecute a potential appeal to have all post-hearing summary judgment briefs in the record.
Alabama law recognizes the borrowed servant doctrine as a complete defense to liability…(11th Circuit)
In other words, under Alabama law, Renfroe had no liability to State Farm and the Rigsby sisters could dismiss their claims against against Renfroe without impacting their case against State Farm.
the Alabama Supreme Court recognized that “one [Rigsby] in the general employ of one master [Renfroe] may with respect to particular work be transferred to the service of a third person [State Farm] in such a way that he becomes for the time being the servant of that person, with all the legal consequences of that relationship.” (United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. v. Russo Corp. with names inserted) Continue reading “Borrowed servants? Great idea, could use one who irons and cooks. (a Rigsby qui tam post)”
I could offer the reason this second evening edition of the SLABBED Daily is that I was waiting on Judge Senter’s bit of housekeeping news:
TEXT ONLY ORDER finding as moot Defendant Exponent, Inc.’s Motion to Dismiss; finding as moot Defendant Jade Engineering’s Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction; and finding as moot Defendant Jade Engineering’s Motion to Dismiss. These motions are rendered moot in light of the Court’s order dismissing these two defendants, among others. NO FURTHER WRITTEN ORDER SHALL ISSUE.
The truth, I’m sorry to say, is that I just got so caught up in MRGO that I forgot! I don’t expect the qui tam lawyers to forget about the two events noticed yesterday – their upcoming deposition of Lecky King on May 5 and Jack Ford’s the following day.
However, according to the Notice of Supplemental Production also on the Docket yesterday, State Farm had a little trouble remembering important things, too.
State Farm has so far been unable to confirm to its satisfaction whether exhibit 7 to the April 30 and May 1, 2007 Cori and Kerri Rigsby deposition transcripts in McIntosh is still subject to restrictions. For that reason, out of abundance of caution, Exhibit 7 to those depositions is not being produced at this time.
Otherwise, the included a list of 16 items produced and delivered to the attorneys for the Rigsby sisters and this snark:
Nothing in this submission constitutes consent by State Farm to the Rigsbys Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – April 30 (update:Rigsby qui tam, MRGO)”
It took two motions to dismiss all five counts against E.A. Renfroe in the Rigsby qui tam case. Apparently, dismissing Count V, allegations of retaliation against the whistle-blowers, does not require consent from the Department of Justice, unlike the Motion to Dismiss Counts I-IV:
Cori and Kerri Rigsby (the “Relators”), by and through their counsel, and, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(2), move to voluntarily dismiss Counts I through IV of their Amended Complaint as to E.A. Renfroe & Company, Inc., Gene Renfroe, and Jana Renfroe (the “Renfroe Defendants”)…
The dismissal of these Counts against the Renfroe Defendants is in the best interests of justice and judicial economy. Specifically, Relators and the Renfroe Defendants have mutually agreed and request that (a) the Court, upon the United States’ consent, dismiss with prejudice as to Relators and without prejudice as to the Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS! Rigsby sisters move to dismiss defendant Renfroe”