TWIA (Texas Windstorm Insurance Association) appears to be convinced ignorance can be a defense; but, what they’ve done to policyholders slabbed by Hurricane Ike is indefensible. Chip Merlin reported on the 11.2% hoax in a recent post, Slabbers Finally Learn How They All Have Exactly 11.2% Damage:
The Bolivar Peninsula TWIA policyholders have had the most frustrating insurance claim experience of any group in recent memory. While we have been having success with other Hurricane Ike claims, the Slabbers claims resolutions have proven difficult. They have not just back and taken this abuse either as I noted in Texas Windstorm “Slabbers” and Policyholders March on Austin.
One even made a joke about how, according to TWIA, they each have exactly 11.2% of building value damage, reflected in The Parable of Hurricane Ike Insurance Claims…
…from what we have reviewed regarding the accuracy and low-balling of the TWIA estimates of partial damage, the entire population will have to be revised
As a result of Javier Delagado following up on evidence produced in an administrative trial, Slabbers finally have the answer of how TWIA performed the calculations that everybody has exactly the same damage. The person making the calculation for TWIA was University of Texas Professor William Spelman. The TWIA attorneys introduced his testimony via a previous administrative hearing to avoid expense—so much for the ability to confront and cross examine a witness. The TWIA pleading was very telling:
Continue reading “TWIA’S 11.2% allocation to wind damage – 100% hot air”
As I’ve said in prior posts, I firmly believe Americans can no longer claim we’re “a government of laws not of men” as John Adams, our 2nd US President once pronounced. Adams’ words came to epitomize the venerable “rule of law” in America. In his era, the critical debate was “rule of law” vs. “rule of man.” The prospect that America might become “a government of men not of laws,” is exactly what Adams and our founders feared most, and warned us to stay away from. In their day, “rule of man” referred to the British King George III, who . . . well, just take a look for yourself:
In 1776, the year of our Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine anonymously wrote a pamphlet titled Common Sense which stated: “in America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the King is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king; and there ought to be no other.” Adams, a contemporary of Paine, expounded on Paine’s Common Sense, and made sure the Massachusetts Constitution of 1780 included the words “a government of laws not of men.”
In Adams’ and Paine’s day, the King was law, and he served no one except himself. Today, billionaire monopolies are the “King makers.” By purchasing our legislatures, individual judges and elected officials, they bastardize “the rule of law.” Their aim is make America a government of men, not law. This is what happens every day in Latin America, and why we call them “third world.” If we acquiesce, and accept their bastardization of America’s founding premise, we’re right back where we started in 1776. Put another way:
we cannot let this ↓ Continue reading “The Price We Pay For “Pro-Business” Courts”
A dispute of material fact ~ Rigsby qui tam.
Part 1 – The Setup Segment
[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfoR8EuSQLk] Continue reading “Slabbed Daily Weekend Edition: Wind of Katrina Repost”
Judge Senter’s Opinion covered a lot of ground and left only one issue outstanding:
The next four State Farm motions seek the exclusion of the Relators’ four expert witnesses: Patrick J. Fitzpatrick, Ph.D. ; Keith G. Blackwell, Ph.D. ; R. Ralph Sinno, Ph.D. ; and David J. Favre . I will address the motions     challenging the qualifications of the Relators’ expert witnesses in a separate opinion.
SLABBED has given these four motions little more than passing mention although we’ve covered State Farm’s backdoor approach attacking the credibility of these same witnesses in other cases.
Frankly, State Farm’s use of “demonstrative evidence” at the hearing made their motions “moo” to me (as in “bull$%&t”) and, instead, SLABBED posted State Farm plays video game at Rigsby qui tam hearing after noticing items on State Farm’s evidence list were contrary to an earlier Order that read in part:
Defendant will not be allowed to introduce “demonstrative evidence” under the guise of calling it a “supplement,” especially when it appears that the sole purpose for offering the “supplement” is not to fulfill a duty under the Federal or Local rules, but to avoid the Court’s prior ruling on a similar issue. Furthermore, placing the burden on Plaintiff at this late date to counter this material is unduly prejudicial.
That same thinking should apply to State Farm’s effort to disqualify experts who have testified in countless other cases. However, in pulling the post to add the link to this one, I noticed something interesting related to what’s hot in Judge Senter’s Order
so I may know the outer limits of the potential claims involved in this
action, I will require State Farm to submit, in camera, a list containing the name of the insured, the address of the property, and the amount of flood insurance paid, for all SFIP claims that meet the following criteria…
We’ll get to the criteria after looking at these maps: Continue reading “Rigsby qui tam – what’s hot, what’s not, what’s up?”
Based on the evidence I heard from the stand, particularly Kerri Rigsby’s own testimony, it appears to me there is sufficient evidence to support the conclusion that she does indeed possess direct and independent knowledge of the facts she has alleged in support of the allegations in the Amended Complaint. This evidence is also sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact on the merits of the Relators’ substantive allegations.
Sop probably thought I’d want to start this post with, I told you so. As tempting as that is, I chose to preface Judge Senter’s Memorandum Opinion with a tip of my hat to Pat Labrano, Cori and Kerri’s mother. Known to the unwashed in the blogosphere as “Ma,” I had the unexpected opportunity – and pleasure – to meet both Pat and Kerri several months ago when my search for Sushi landed us in the same Ocean Springs restaurant.
Kerri was, as Chip Merlin described her, the type you want to call your friend. So was her mother and, clearly, the two of them were also friends. I might add, they were also beautiful and gracious women.
With that truth told, I yield to Judge Senter to tell another – the story of the McIntosh claim, constructed in large part from Kerri’s testimony but clearly verified in other documents available to him.
I have also included in total the section he titled, Scope of Further Proceedings and, in a separate post, I’ll cover the Summary Judgment awarded State Farm on the Risgby’s claim of retaliation.
Kerri Rigsby is an experienced insurance adjustor who had been working for Renfroe for approximately ten years at the time of Hurricane Katrina. She testified that within a few daysafter the storm, when State Farm was just beginning to adjust the losses under the SFIP policiesand under its homeowners policies, she attended a meeting convened by State Farm. Kerri Rigsby testified that during this meeting the person giving instructions for adjustors and their supervisors to follow told his audience Hurricane Katrina was a “water storm” and the adjustors should go out and “hit the limits” of flood insurance policies. Defendants deny these allegations. Continue reading “Another mother’s child and Judge Senter’s order – Rigsby qui tam goes to trial!”
Judge Randolph’s question was the first thing that came to mind after reading Did insurers testimony show guilt? h/t Y’all Politics
Recent arguments in a Mississippi Supreme Court case offer proof that private insurers are improperly pushing storm damage claims from their books to the government-backed flood insurance program, Rep. Gene Taylor, D-Bay St. Louis, said in a telephone interview.
“It confirmed, under oath, what we have been saying all along: that the taxpayers got stuck with paying bills that the insurance industry should have paid,” said Taylor, who has long maintained that it’s a conflict of interest for insurers to be responsible for handling homeowner policies and flood policies for the same property…
With Nationwide’s startling admission, too little has been made of the testimony given by USAA attorney Charles Copeland, AKA the King of Flip-Flops.
Charles Copeland, a lawyer for USAA, a Texas-based financial services company and insurer, did not go as far as Landau but said that a policyholder would not be entitled to collect if the storm damage were due to “the combined concurrent force of wind and water.”
In a June 18 letter to Taylor, Copeland said that USAA does not shift coverage for wind damage to the flood insurance program.
“Shift” is the key word here – USAA does not “shift” because, according to Copeland’s testimony, Congress intended for the flood insurance program to pay for more than “flood only” damage. Continue reading “Once the property is lost, then how do I regain it to lose it again with water?”
Honesty is the best policy – and, a hurricane policy written to exclude damage from a hurricane is honestly not the best policy.
Consequently, Counsel for O’Bannon filed a Motion to Stay O’Bannon v Nationwide pending the Mississippi Supreme Court’s decision in Corban v USAA claiming, Nationwide further showed its “true intention” of unfair and unconscionable application of the ACC to exclude coverage to its insured during questioning from Chief Justice William L. Waller, Jr.:
JUSTICE WALLER: Do you agree – Nationwide was a party to the Dickinson case. Do you agree with Judge Senter’s ruling in that?
MR. LANDAU: No, Your Honor. We respectfully do not. We think its inconsistent with Leonard case and the Bilby case and the Tuepker case from the Fifth Circuit.
JUSTICE WALLER: Would your company have paid the same losses that USAA has voluntarily paid in the Corban case?
MR. LANDAU: Our company [Nationwide] has –
JUSTICE WALLER: On wind damage? On wind damage?
MR. LANDAU: Your Honor, our company would not feel compelled by the clause by the plain language to pay.
JUSTICE WALLER: So you wouldn’t?
MR. LANDAU: Our position is that we are not required to pay those losses. Sometime, where we believe that you can really show that these pure wind losses covered, then we’ll pay wind losses.
But we certainly don’t believe that the Plaintiffs can be free to go out and get whatever expert they want and get to a jury on these kind of issues, where we carry our burden of showing that, regardless of the sequencing, the water was sufficient to cause the loss. Because we believe that that’s why these clauses — that’s the whole point of the clause.
And, that’s the “whole point” of O’Bannon’s motion: Continue reading “O’Bannon cites Corban transcript in Motion to Stay case against Nationwide”
So much happened while I was out last week that the Dan Rather quote makes a good introduction to this update on Katrina litigation reporting the sequence of [selected] events [from last week] in no particular order:
Watson v Nationwide:
Nationwide may not be able to determine the sequencing of the loss until the event is over; but, Judge Senter had no problem determining the sequence, deciding the event was over, and issuing an Order on Nationwide’s Motion for an Extension of Time…to Take Remand-Related Discovery-
Nationwide has asserted that the non-diverse defendants in this action were fraudulently joined to defeat this Court’s diversity jurisdiction. This is an issue upon which Nationwide, as the removing party, has the burden of proof, and an issue on which Nationwide expected to prevail at the time this case was removed. Yet in the ten months that have elapsed since removal, Continue reading “And now the sequence of events in no particular order – a Katrina litigation update”
One justice asked Nationwide whether ACC would exclude coverage in a case where a home was 95% destroyed by wind before any flooding…According to…[Nationwide]…it does not matter what actually caused the damage. If the subsequent flooding would have caused it, the damage is covered by NFIP and not Nationwide.
Nationwide’s unabashed admission of claims dumping, linked here, could not have been a surprise to policyholders on the Coast who found the Company was not on their side after Hurricane Katrina.
A review of five policyholder cases currently in litigation is telling of the other side of Nationwide. Corban, Gunn, & Van Cleave represents plaintiffs O’Bannon, Hartman, and Drake; Chuck McRea, former Presiding Judge of the Mississippi Supreme Court is counsel for Watson; and Nilson plaintiffs are represented by the Bay St. Louis firm Hawkins, Stracener & Gibson.
SLABBED first reviews the O’Bannon v Nationwide Complaint as it provides the most detailed description of the events behind the Company’s admitted billing of wind damage to the NFIP – a description that supports a larger conspiracy of fraud than either Nationwide or State Farm alone as claimed in the first Rigsby qui tam complaint. (Nationwide was among the three insurer defendants dismissed without prejudice by the Rigsbys with consent to same from the Department of Justice on behalf of the United States)
Denial of Plaintiffs’ Claim Was Part of a Top-Down Scheme of Institutional Fraud Continue reading “On the other side – policyholders v Nationwide”
Credit the New Orleans firm Capitelli and Wicker with the grit to win a $3.5 million jury award for Ferrara’s Supermarket. The grocer had been in business 99 years before the Elysian Fields location was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
Attorneys Carey Wicker and James Watkins brought home the bacon for the Plaintiffs with evidence Lafayette’s engineer was not licensed to practice in Louisiana or supervised by a Louisiana licensed engineer as the law requires “direct control and personal supervision”.
While the engineer’s qualifications were clearly a significant issue, the Plaintiffs had a strong case against Lafayette. A reader from New Orleans provided SLABBED with a summary of the case tried in State court:
During Hurricane Katrina, wind and driving rain opened spaces in the roof, walls, doors and windows of the supermarket, and water and moisture entered the premises causing extensive damage.
Additionally, uplift forces on the flat roof (wind blowing over parapet) caused structural damage to the north-facing wall of the building as well as roof framing members’ connection to that wall. That structural damage, solely caused by wind forces, rendered the building a total loss Continue reading “Grit and grocer win $3.5 million – Ferrara v Lafayette Insurance (Corrected)”