BIG NEWS – Judge Senter denies two State Farm motions despite the Company’s threat of appeal! (a Rigsby qui tam update)

Last Friday, this was “breaking news” but with my Christmas tree still up, I had to set priorities and these latest Orders from Judge Senter merit more than just a “pop-up” post. If you need background, check the SLABBED post published November 24, 2010, for Judge Senter’s earlier Orders admitting the testimony and/or report of Rigsby expert witnesses Dave Favre and Brian Ford.

After three years of following Katrina insurance litigation, much of it involving State Farm, I thought I’d reached the point where nothing would surprise me. However, State Farm’s legal eagles (AKA “the buckin fuzzards“) clearly proved me wrong with the Company’s Memorandum in Support of Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’s Opinion and Order re: The Brian Ford Report and Memorandum in Support of Motion for Reconsideration of the Court’s Opinion and Order re: Dave J. Favre, Sr.

However, I wasn’t as surprised by content as I was shocked by the threatening tone – and how it intensified in State Farm’s replies in rebuttal to the Rigsbys’ Response in Opposition to each of the Company’s motions. As I was reading, I began to wonder if Judge Senter felt like Travis Brickle when he took a look at State Farm’s briefs:

“You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? You talkin’ to me? Then who the hell else are you talkin’ to? You talkin’ to me? Well I’m the only one here. Who the fuck do you think you’re talking to?”

For example, inState Farm’s Rebuttal brief asking for [demanding, IMO] reconsideration of Judge Senter’s decision on the admissibility of the Brian Ford report, the Company wrote:

Until now, no federal court has ever held that a document Continue reading “BIG NEWS – Judge Senter denies two State Farm motions despite the Company’s threat of appeal! (a Rigsby qui tam update)”

Judge Senter sharpens his carving knife on Orders in Rigsby qui tam

Actually, Judge Senter pulled his knife out at the end of last week and while I was trying to find time to get those two Orders  posted, he was sharpening his knife on two more – but what  he has in mind is no  turkey, it’s the December 1st  Status  Conference on his schedule:

I have decided to continue the trial of this case from its present setting on December 1, 2010, and to set a status conference on that date to hear from all parties on the merits of the motions that remain undecided at that time.

Two motions pending “at that time” and mentioned in his  Order were the Government’s motion to vacate Judge  Senter’s  Order dismissing defendant Forensic and the Rigsbys’ motion to reconsider the scope of the proceedings.

These motions are fully briefed, and I do not anticipate requiring any additional briefings at this time. After this conference, I will reschedule the trial to accommodate my rulings on the pending motions.

Judge Senter should have known State Farm would consider that an  invitation.  In that context, today Judge Senter sent “regrets” to Butler Snow – and denied State Farm’s motion to declassify portions  of 30(b)(6) deposition of TRG (The Rendon Groups)in support of “the good neighbor’s “motion to dismiss the Rigsby’s case for repeated violations of the seal.  In his Order, Senter stated:

After reading the materials submitted in support of this motion, including the Rule30(b)(6) Deposition of the Rendon Group [Document 756, Exhibit 1] and theSupplemental Responses submitted by TRG [Document 756, Exhibit 2], it appears to me that the material in question has only marginal relevance, if any, to the merits of the State Farm motion [739] to dismiss. Continue reading “Judge Senter sharpens his carving knife on Orders in Rigsby qui tam”

State Farm "dickin" around in Kentucky while Forensic releases settlement agreement with the Rigsbys – A Rigsby qui tam update

“It is my conclusion that the envelope of the structure was ruptured by wind and wind-driven debristhat allowed the winds and debris to enter the home and cause interior damage.” October 10, 2007 Deposition of Brian Ford in McIntosh v State Farm(13-16, page 80)

Brian Ford’s engineering report on damage to the McIntosh property is central to the merits of the Rigsbys’ qui tam case.  When the deposition of former Forensic’s engineer Brian Ford continued on January 11, 2008, State Farm launched an all-out attack on Mr. Ford’s credibility that continues to this day.

During that deposition, Ford was asked if the Scruggs Katrina Group (SKG) had paid him for any services.  Ford’s testimony on lines 6 – 22 of deposition page 337 follows:

Q Do you have an understanding, either expressed or implied, that Mr. Wyatt, Mr. Scruggs, David Nutt, Meg McAlister, or anybody from the SKG or Katrina litigation group is going to pay you something for your services today?
A No.
Q Have they paid you anything to-date?
A No.
Q Have you asked for payment?
A No. We discussed a consulting service agreement many months ago and we never reached an agreement. We never consummated an agreement. And I haven’t provided a service and they haven’t paid for it.
Q You have provided no services?
A I haven’t provided them consulting services, no.

State Farm’s attempt to make fantasy into reality had reached such a fevered pitch by January 2008 that Ford refuted the Company’s allegations and innuendo in an Affidavit that should have put an end to State Farm’s game.

Fast forward to July 2010 and, despite already having all the answers, State Farm is “dickin” around and playing its Brian Ford fantasy game in the Eastern District Kentucky Federal Court: Continue reading “State Farm "dickin" around in Kentucky while Forensic releases settlement agreement with the Rigsbys – A Rigsby qui tam update”

State Farm’s expert[sic] all wet: Bossier v State Farm trial update

In a written statement Monday, State Farm said “… based on the testimony of both parties, it is clear that Mr. Bossier and State Farm have different views regarding whether it was wind or storm surge that destroyed Mr. Bossier’s home.

Different views, indeed. Why else would there be a trial? It was their differing views of an expert qualified to determine cause of loss, however, that were at issue when the trial resumed yesterday.

Last week ended with Bossier’s question on the table; i.e., were State Farm’s expert witnesses, Forrest Masters, Ph.D. and Robert H. Weisberg, Ph.D., qualified to give an opinion on the cause of Bossier’s loss? State Farm answered by filing a Bench Memorandum stating the Company’s position: Continue reading “State Farm’s expert[sic] all wet: Bossier v State Farm trial update”