Shows Takes Expected Hit

While we await Friday’s responses in Ex Rel Rigsby there were other developments yesterday with the litigation involving the Katrina Litigation Group.  As we expected the racketeering suit was dealt a blow with the disqualification of the Rigsby sisters and the Katrina Litigation Group. The issues in Shows were virtually identical to McIntosh and other policyholder lawsuits involving the old Scruggs Katrina Group. It will be interesting to see how this suit in particular is impacted as Racketeering is specialized litigation that requires deep pockets to litigate. My blog partner Nowdy tells me the McIntosh family has retained Chip Merlin to represent them. Excellent choice IMHO.  Here is today’s Anita Lee Sun Herald story:

A federal judge on Wednesday disqualified from a Katrina lawsuit all former Scruggs Katrina Group attorneys, who in June 2007 filed a racketeering case against State Farm and its vendors. Continue reading “Shows Takes Expected Hit”

“That’s the Biggest Bunch of Bull I’ve Ever Heard”

This post title is a quote from today’s Sun Herald given by Mike Moore in response to an allegation made by Judge Henry Lackey that parrots an often repeated State Farm PR talking point regarding Jim Hood being pressured by Mike Moore on behalf of Dickie Scruggs to drop his criminal investigation of State Farm. I’m unsure how Judge Lackey would know such things but perhaps it does illuminate how the man thinks and operates.  My blog partner Nowdy has covered Judge Lackey’s sometimes confusing testimony here and here for those interested. Here is today’s story:

Attorney General Jim Hood denies his predecessor delivered a warning that a wealthy lawyer would fund an opponent in last year’s election if Hood didn’t cooperate in Hurricane Katrina litigation. 

The allegation was made by Lafayette County Circuit Judge Henry Lackey, who is at the center of a judicial bribery scandal that toppled some of the most powerful attorneys in Mississippi. Continue reading ““That’s the Biggest Bunch of Bull I’ve Ever Heard””

Allstate Wins Another Florida Stay but the Allstate Challenge PR Disaster Continues

I was catching up on insurance news now that the tax season rush has largely ended (it never completely ends) and noted this story in the Miami Herald by Beatrice Garcia that Allstate has received a stay while the Florida First District Court of Appeals considers their motion for a rehearing:

Allstate Floridian has asked the First District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee for a rehearing on its recent decision upholding a suspension of Allstate’s license to write new business in Florida.

Until the court completes the rehearing, Allstate can continue to write new policies. While Allstate and its sister companies have not been renewing homeowners policies in the past three years, auto insurance is a lucrative business for them.

”The good news is that we’re still open for business,” said Amy Moore, an Allstate spokeswoman.

The appeal court had issued a ruling April 4 to reinstate the suspension of Allstate’s license on April 14. Continue reading “Allstate Wins Another Florida Stay but the Allstate Challenge PR Disaster Continues”

Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds Part II

I’m inserting this post under the Allstate Challenge because such a short effort should certainly not be the top item but I saw couple of stories in today’s Sun Herald that are well worth mentioning.

First stop is Jackson and news that $41MM plus dollars of Katrina recovery money is being spent well off the coast. Those who keep up with this sort of news well remember Governor Barbour’s ill conceived plan to use $25MM of Katrina funds to build a road for Toyota in Morth Mississippi. That scheme could not make it past the legislature though they have no say in this use of Katrina recovery funding. Here are some excerpts from today’s Sun Herald front page story:

Gov. Haley Barbour announced Tuesday the release of $41 million in Hurricane Katrina relief funds for projects in 39 counties and cities, but none were in South Mississippi. 

Since the storm, South Mississippi legislators and some community groups have criticized Barbour for federal Katrina relief spending, over which he has held much control. Continue reading “Around the GO Zone in 60 Seconds Part II”

Chip Merlin Weighs In on Allstate and McKinsey

The weekend before April 15th typically means I’m working and this year is no different.   I took a break from checking returns and surfed my blogroll and followed a link my friend Russell sent that he knew would capture my interest.

Before we get to Chip’s blog and the cyber stops it entails I’ll share some concepts that help pull together this post on insurance, statistical theory and economics. The best place to start is with Russell’s link to Bloomberg and a fantastic story they did on Nassim Taleb late last month. The piece is biographical in nature but does delve into Taleb’s thought processes and how some of his theories have shaken up the status quo in the statistical community which is where we find our intersection with insurance theory.

Taleb has made enemies, too. In August, The American Statistician, the quarterly journal of the American Statistical Association, came out with a special Black Swan issue that published a series of critical reviews alongside an article by Taleb.

“He characterizes statisticians as people who blindly assume things, and nothing could be further from the truth,” says Peter Westfall, the journal’s editor and a professor of information systems and quantitative sciences at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Continue reading “Chip Merlin Weighs In on Allstate and McKinsey”

The Better Angels of Our Nature

The mystic chords of memory……….when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.  Abraham Lincoln

Mr Petro and I have continued to correspond and I am reminded of why I found the Dickie Scruggs bashing so distasteful. Having lived the experience of knowing someone personally who made a terrible mistake and then had to pay the price with a prison sentence I know first hand the perpetrator is not the ony one who suffers.

As the anger subsides from that WLOX report I am reminded that Mr Petro mentioned in the report that he had a family, a wife and children who were also slabbed on August 29, 2005; and again on April 8, 2008. Regardless of ones take on the Youtube Video, if Mrs Petro is like my wife she trusts him implicitly to provide for the family; and now suffers along with her husband the consequences of the public reaction to the video. There are children too who most likely have suffered ridicule. They are innocent though their innocence has likely been shattered.

Just as I reconsidered my initial anger to Mr Petro last evening I hope our readers will similarly reconsider the collateral impact our collective anger had on those also impacted by Mr Petro’s misguided plea for help. I do not know the Petro’s personally but here in cyberspace at slabbed we stand in solidarity with the Petro family and hope their hurt is assuaged quickly.

The measure of a person’s character lies in their capacity to forgive.  This post is my last on this topic though Nowdy tells me she also has thoughts to share.

To Those Who Came Here Looking for J Michael Petro

Mr Petro and I exchanged offline emails the gist of which is he still contends I still don’t understand his position and I still don’t buy in to the story. That said however the better angels of my nature (and yes Virginia I’m not a complete Son of a Bitch) have kicked in as I do not desire to see Mr Petro slabbed again despite the now imfamous You Tube Video. I have removed the original post from public viewing though I stand by the content 100%.

Instead of focusing on a negative of the what the Government, Church Groups or Volunteers didn’t do I’ll publish a different perspective of what Hurricane Katrina did do, namely give all who lived the experience a different slant on living. I hope those who visit here looking for Mr Petro’s train wreck of a you tube video leave with a different persepctive courtesy of the Katrina Prayer. Credit to Tracy and Cowboy.  sop Continue reading “To Those Who Came Here Looking for J Michael Petro”

A Quick Tour

Over the past two weeks our readership has grown dramatically as we close in on matching our March totals in just 11days in April. Nowdy and I wish to thank our readers, especially our return visitors.

Like the March Report where I detailed some of our more popular posts for the month of March 2008 I thought I’d compile a list of my favorite insurance posts from the inception of the blog in December 2007.

We start by examining the concepts of weather modeling with some help from Sam Friedman over the National Underwriter. Small changes in the model inputs can mean big differences on your bill, as the Boston Globe noted in an editorial that we covered. The issues raised in the Globe editorial touch on the concepts of Market Transparency which is discussed here. Continue reading “A Quick Tour”

Suspension of Ex Rel Rigsby Sought (Updated)

We are greeted this morning with an Anita Lee story on the Risgby Qui Tam case. While the Anthony Dewitt and company prepare their response to the latest barrage of State Farm legal filings they have asked the suit itself be suspended until Judge Senter rules. Here is the report:

Attorneys are asking for suspension of their whistle-blower lawsuit against State Farm until a federal judge decides whether they can continue to prosecute the case. Continue reading “Suspension of Ex Rel Rigsby Sought (Updated)”