The disputes between the parties to this action were previously settled and dismissed by an order dated April 7, 2009. Following a reversal of the contempt findings against non-parties Richard F. Scruggs and the Scruggs Law Firm, P.A. by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, Appeal Number 08-14716-DD, the remaining disputes have been settled between E. A. Renfroe & Company, Inc., and the above-referenced non-parties. Therefore, by and through their respective counsel of record, the undersigned do hereby jointly stipulate to the dismissal of all remaining issues and claims between them in this matter, with prejudice, each party to bear its own respective costs.
When the contempt findings issued by Judge Acker were vacated and remanded by Order of the 11th Circuit – 11th Circuit overturns Scruggs contempt citation! – the Court directed all remaining issues pertaining to Scruggs in the Renfroe case should be assigned to a different district court judge. Continue reading “Another one! Order of Dismissal entered following Joint Stipulation of Dismissal filed by Dick Scruggs and E.A. Renfroe”
Renfroe’s suggestion of mootness by virtue of Scruggs’ satisfaction of the June 5, 2008, contempt judgment is unavailing… The satisfaction of a joint and several liability does not moot the appeal of the debtor satisfying the judgment. See United States v. Balint, 201 F.3d 928 (7th Cir. 2000) (citing Corley v. Rosewood Care Center, Inc., 142 F.3d 1041, 1058 (7th Cir. 1998)) (“Payment of the sanction does not moot the appeal because the appellate court can fashion effective relief to the appellant by ordering that the sum paid in satisfaction of the sanction be returned”)…
That interesting piece of information comes from a footnote in the 11th Circuit ruling vacating Judge Acker’s Order.
The Sun Herald has the story and the 11th Circuit’s ruling. Way to go, Anita Lee!
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a federal judge who cited then-attorney Dickie Scruggs for contempt of court…Acker held both Scruggs and the adjusters, sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby, in contempt of court when the records were not returned to the Rigsbys employer, independent adjusting firm E.A. Renfroe. Acker levied a $65,000 fine to compensate Renfroe’s attorney’s fees in pursuing the records.
Scruggs paid the fine into a holding account and appealed Acker’s decision.
Renfroe, which supplied adjusters to State Farm after Katrina, had sued the Rigsbys in the company’s home state of Alabama for breach of contract. The appellate court held that Scruggs was not a party to the Renfroe vs. Rigsby lawsuit and, therefore, could not be held in contempt. The appellate judges also removed Acker from any further proceedings in the case.
The 11th Circuit ruling has Acker eating his own words:
…Based upon our review of the district court’s two contempt orders in this case, we conclude Continue reading “11th Circuit overturns Scruggs contempt citation!”
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)”
Did Chip Merlin discover the slabberator mentioned in the scheme? That I don’t know; but, he definitely happened upon some interesting information — cross posted below — and the title of his related postposes a very interesting question: Are Computerized Estimates by Pilot Catastrophe Adjusters Low Because of a Special Database?. SLABBED tags on to the end of Merlin’s post with comments linking the Rigsby qui tam.
Some Mondays are more interesting than others. When I go to conferences with adjusters, I make a point to ask about “in the street” information on insurers I am litigating against. The information and leads to witnesses or evidence are often extremely valuable to my clients. Adjusters know when the orders from claims management are wrong and aimed at paying less than what is fairly owed. Most want to disclose facts about insurers that wrongly demand underpayment.
A current problem regarding the disclosure of such activities is that catastrophe firms and insurers usually make the individual catastrophe adjusters sign confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements preventing whistle blowing from ever taking place. These agreements should be illegal. Can you imagine any reason society should tolerate contracts that prevent employees from disclosing improper claims conduct? What if the mafia could enforce such agreements? Yet, that is largely why Renfroe sued the Rigsby sisters–to shut them up about State Farm’s multiple engineering reports indicating excluded flood rather than covered wind caused damage to State Farm’s customers. (emphasis added @ SLABBED) Continue reading “Did Chip Merlin find a slabberator? Are Computerized Estimates by Pilot Catastrophe Adjusters Low Because of a Special Database? (with a Rigsby qui tam tag on from SLABBED)”
Judge Walker granted State Farm’s dumb blond motion with an Order that reads like the wrong answer to Who was buried in Grant’s Tomb!
In their response, Plaintiffs argue that the motion should be denied because amendment would be futile. Plaintiffs argue that the April 21, 2009, settlement did not release any claims with respect to State Farm…
Plaintiffs offer little in the way of argument or legal authority explaining why the amendment would be futile other than the conclusory statement that the release did not apply to Plaintiffs claims against State Farm…
In the absence of a compelling explanation for why the amendment would be futile, the Court finds that issue of the scope and application of the April 21, 2009, release should be allowed to proceed.
You can’t make this stuff up; however, Orders like this are the reason a lawyer told me that we should forget pro hac vice and issue passports.
You also can’t make up what happened after Judge Walker granted State Farm’s dumb blond motion – but it took some Dolly boobs.
(“State Farm”), submits this Notice of Supplemental Evidentiary and Issue Submission by Means of Attachment to  Motion for Summary Judgment on Relators’ Claim for Retaliatory Discharge State Farm would show: Continue reading “You just can’t make this stuff up – a Rigsby qui tam update”
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”
No need to spell relieved when Judge Acker’s lip prints are all over his Order kissing Renfroe v Rigsby good-bye – and, just guessing, but I suspect there’s lipstick on the Rigbys’ copy and Renfroe’s, too.
The court having been informed that the parties in the above entitled action have reached a settlement, the action is hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The parties shall have until 4:30 p.m., April 30, 2009, to request the substitution of a modified stipulated final judgment and to inform the court what should be done with the documents in the court’s custody. Unless there is a joint request to relinquish the documents to a named person, the documents will be shredded by the court.
The parties shall bear their own respective costs. DONE this 7th day of April, 2009.
Judge Acker’s realization that he’s stuck with a truckload of qui tam evidence in his office reminds me of State Farm’s Response to Relators’ Motion for Leave to Propound Expedited Document Requests in Order to Respond to Defendants’ Pending Dispositive Motions:
Turn the clock back to August 27, 2008: Continue reading “How do you spell Renfroe v Rigsby? O-V-E-R”
Don’t hide your eggs tonight but Easter is coming and so is the settlement of both Renfroe v Rigsby, the Alabama case, and the issues between the two parties in the Rigsby qui tam.
Here’s the Joint Motion for an additional seven-day extension to finalize the settlement details.
The settlement agreement between Plaintiff E. A. Renfroe & Company, Inc. and Defendants Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby includes not only the remaining issues in this case but also all of the issues between these parties in the qui tam suit pending in Mississippi (United States ex rel. Rigsby v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Company, et. al, Cause No. 1:06-cv-433, filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, Southern Division). Because this settlement encompasses both suits and complex issues, there are, of necessity, numerous lawyers involved in crafting the precise language of the settlement agreement and its supporting motions and proposed orders…
ACCORDINGLY, the parties jointly and respectfully request that this Court grant this Joint Motion for Additional Extension of Time, extending the current deadlines to April 6, 2009 and April 8, 2009.
I guess we just wait and see who gets the chocolate bunny.
How about this one, instead?