Drake v Nationwide goes another emotionally distressing round

The high water level or storm surge of a hurricane and specifically Hurricane Katrina is generally misunderstood by the general public. Most people think that the storm surge is a virtual wall of sea water that suddenly comes ashore as the hurricane makes landfall.

While this may be true to some extent at the actual center of the eyewall of a hurricane as it makes landfall, it is not true for the storm surge or high water away from the center of the storm. Rather, the rising of the storm surge or high water is a gradual occurrence as you get further from the center -of the storm, even in the most intense winds of the northeast quadrant of the hurricane.

I have interviewed two eyewitnesses to the Hurricane Katrina high water occurrence, and they each tell very similar accounts. A third eye witness on lovers lane in Ocean Springs reportedly tells a similar account. The witnesses state that the water rose gradually, first in the edge of their yards, then by progression up to the steps of their house and finally up on the sides of the house to the highest water level.

The witnesses state that the high water stayed at the highest level for a short period of about 30 minutes and then receded in the same gradual manner as the water rose. The witnesses who gave these accounts were located in Pascagoula near the water; at D’Iberville on the Back Bay of Biloxi; and on the waterside of Lovers Lane in Ocean Springs. (emphasis added)

With Ted Biddy’s February 9, 2006 forensic analysis of the loss documenting wind speed and water level across the Coast , it is difficult to believe Nationwide let the Drake’s claim for ALE reach the point of litigation.  The State’s windpool and the Federal flood program picked up the tab for the slab; and, all that was left for Nationwide to pay was approximately 1/10th of the total loss.

Nonetheless, four years after Katrina left the Drake’s with a slab, Nationwide is Continue reading “Drake v Nationwide goes another emotionally distressing round”

On the other side – policyholders v Nationwide

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”