BREAKING NEWS! Rigsby sisters move to dismiss defendant Renfroe

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”

How do you spell Renfroe v Rigsby? O-V-E-R

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”

Almost done! Renfroe and Rigsby ask for seven more days to complete settlement

chocolate-bunny-3Don’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.

Rigsby qui tam file updated with recent Response and Exhibits

If you read Locked and loaded with State Farm in crosshairs, Rigsbys plan to remove Renfroe before pulling the trigger, you’ve been waiting for me to update the Rigsby qui tam file under Legal in the left side bar. It’s done and the Branch qui tam has been moved to a separate file to make room for my adding more documents to both.

As mentioned in the post, the Rigsbys’ exhibits came from documents in the public domain. In the Affidavit supporting their Response the Relators’ added Continue reading “Rigsby qui tam file updated with recent Response and Exhibits”

What’s another 30 days when things are going so well? Renfroe v Rigsby

Here’s the latest Joint Motion from the Renfroe v Rigsby settlement talks – Joint MOTION for Extension of Time Motion for Additional Extension of Time.

The settlement negotiations between Plaintiff E. A. Renfroe & Company, Inc. and Defendants Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby are bearing fruit, and the parties are very close to finalizing a settlement. They do, however, need additional time to resolve specific language of the agreement and its supporting documents.

To provide them the time necessary to finalize their settlement documents, the parties jointly request that this Court again extend the deadlines for briefing set out in the Order dated January 28, 2009…the Memorandum Opinion and Order dated February 9,2009…and modified by Docket entry on February 13,2009.

The parties seek to extend the deadlines…by an additional 30 days to allow the parties to work out the details of settlement. The parties will promptly notify this Court when the settlement documents have been finalized to seek abatement of all remaining· deadlines.

As you can see from the docket entry, Judge Acker granted the motion – once again without specifying the actual deadline dates.  Continue reading “What’s another 30 days when things are going so well? Renfroe v Rigsby”

Katrina insurance litigation – selected Nationwide and State Farm cases

Early in the month I began a somewhat regular “sweep” of Katrina insurance cases in the federal court with new docket entries.    In a single day recently, docket entries were made on approximately 75 different cases.  It would be impossible to estimate exactly how many different cases had one or more docket entry during the month of February; but, I’m willing to guess hundreds.

Obviously, someone has to read every one of those new documents.  I’m not the one.  In this short and busy month, it has been difficult at times  to “sweep” my kitchen, much less the case files – so much so, in fact, this could be called a “lick and a promise” post about cases that caught my eye.

Nationwide, you may recall, is the carrier that prompted Judge Senter’s memorable “illusionary coverage” remark.  At this point, it appears the “illusion” morphed into a  “delusion” with Nationwide thinking he would eventually see things their way.  While he has been “on their side” at times, I’ve seen Judge Senter issue an order in several Nationwide cases that I don’t recall seeing elsewhere.  Consequently, I’ve also seen another first, Notice of Private Mediation:

Pursuant to the Court’s January 12, 2009 Order for Mediation, counsel for Defendants Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Ntionwide Mutual Insurance Company, and Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Company, on behalf of both parties, hereby advises the Court that the parties will hold a private mediation on or before March 19, 2009, in lieu of participating in the Court-supervised mediation program.

Since I don’t want to commit the logical fallacy of suggesting correlation proves causation, I will simply point out I noted a number of Nationwide cases were settled this week.

However, other Nationwide cases I pulled do not appear to be moving in that direction.  Politz v Nationwide , for example, is a dispute about the plaintiff’s private coverage with Nationwide – although you might think  otherwise.  Nationwide focused on NFIP and other disaster assistance the Politz received and did so in a way that its conduct appears contrary to the NFIP Litigation Philosophy: Continue reading “Katrina insurance litigation – selected Nationwide and State Farm cases”

“The only reason for time is so everything doesn’t happen at once” – Rigsby qui tam, Renfroe v Rigsby, and Scruggs’ Appeal to 11th Circuit

If faced with the March calendar of the Rigsby sisters, even Einstein would surely have wondered if everything wasn’t happening at once (says Nowdy hopefully after struggling to post the third of these three events).

March 11:  Oral Argument 11th Circuit Court of Appeals

Appeal of Civil Contempt filed by Dick Scruggs re: Renfroe v Rigsby (Alabama)

March 12: Rigsby Qui Tam Response

Relators’ consolidated Response to the dispositive motions shall be due no later than 3/12/2009 Re: Text only Order granting Relators’ Motion to Extend Time to File Brief with NOTICE of Endorsement of Extension of Time Requested filed by State Farm. Continue reading ““The only reason for time is so everything doesn’t happen at once” – Rigsby qui tam, Renfroe v Rigsby, and Scruggs’ Appeal to 11th Circuit”

The [eager] Beaver’s Lesson – Joint Motion filed in Renfroe v Rigsby

Then a scream, shrill and high, rent the shuddering sky,
And they knew that some danger was near:
The Beaver turned pale to the tip of its tail,
And even the Butcher felt queer.

Judge Acker’s latest order must have also called to mind the sound of … a pencil that squeaks on a slate – particularly the final point he directed toward the Renfroes – but such is surely expected as an [eager] Beaver’s Lesson in the Hunting of the Snark.

It is obvious at this juncture that plaintiff is unprepared to prove, and apparently does not claim, compensatory damages of the kind this court erroneously thought it was claiming. Plaintiff should not waste its time, or that of this court, undertaking to prove the amount of, or the reasonableness of, the attorneys’ fees it incurred in prosecuting this case.

“‘Tis the note of the Jubjub! Keep count, I entreat;
You will find I have told it you twice…

The Beaver had counted with scrupulous care,
Attending to every word:
But it fairly lost heart, and outgrabe in despair,
When the third repetition occurred.

It felt that, in spite of all possible pains,
It had somehow contrived to lose count,
And the only thing now was to rack its poor brains
By reckoning up the amount.

According to the Joint Motion for Extension of Time filed today in the case, a reckoning is exactly what’s taking place.

Plaintiff E. A. Renfroe & Company, Inc. and Defendants Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby are negotiating a settlement that would resolve all the remaining issues in this case. Because of these on-going settlement negotiations, the parties jointly request that this Court extend the deadlines for briefing set out in the Order dated January 28, 2009… and the Memorandum Opinion and Order dated February 9,2009. Continue reading “The [eager] Beaver’s Lesson – Joint Motion filed in Renfroe v Rigsby”

Rip van Acker wakes up – new Order in Renfroe v Rigsby

Before we take a look at Judge Acker’s latest order, we need to pick up two briefs filed by the Rigsby sisters in reply to Renfroe’s OMG Amended Response as we continue to hunt the Snark, this time with the Bellman’s Speech leading our way through the documents.

“Other maps are such shapes, with their islands and capes!
But we’ve got our brave Captain to thank:
(So the crew would protest) “that he’s bought us the best–
A perfect and absolute blank!”

Judging by the Defendant’s Reply to Renfroe’s Amended Response to the Court’s Question, the Rigsby sisters felt the Joint Stipulations had “filled in the blank,” so to speak, until they read Renfroe’s Amended Response. (all emphasis added)

In this document, Renfroe, among other things, referred to its original response as “imprecise,” “inaccurate,” and “confus[ing].” This filing also indicated that its previous response may have left the Court with a “misperception of Renfroe’s intentions,” and “unintentionally led the Court to believe that it would be conducting a trial by affidavit on the question of its attorneys’ fees,” and that its response “expect[ed] the Court to read [Renfroe’s counsel’s] minds.” Given Renfroe’s Amended Response, the Defendants believe that they too may have fallen prey to an incorrect interpretation of Renfroe’s original response and are likewise now unclear as to Renfroe’s intentions in connection with the Joint Stipulations of the Parties (“Joint Stipulation”) that was filed on January 14, 2009…and the briefing the Court ordered on January 28, 2009… As such, the Defendants submit this reply. Continue reading “Rip van Acker wakes up – new Order in Renfroe v Rigsby”

Acker’s latest Order, Renfroe’s OMG amended Response – Renfroe v Rigsby and the Hunting of the Snark

They sought it with thimbles, they sought it with care;
They pursued it with forks and hope…

After considering the responses filed on the 26th by counsel for Renfroe and the Rigsby sisters, on the 28th Judge Acker issued a responding Order:

The responses filed by the parties on January 26, 2009, to the questions posed to them by the court on January 20, 2009, make it plain that both plaintiff and defendants waive their right to a trial ore tenus on the questions surrounding the claim for attorneys’ fees as part of the damages plaintiff claims for breach of contract.

But the Judge said he never had summed up before;
So the Snark undertook it instead…

The court has never before conducted a trial by affidavit on a question of damages. The court is, of course, familiar with the determination by affidavit of a claim for the reasonable attorneys’ fees that are provided to a prevailing party by certain statutes. Nevertheless, the court ACCEPTS the parties’ express waiver, and will proceed accordingly.

And summed it so well that it came to far more
Than the Witnesses ever had said!

On the 29th of January, Renfroe’s counsel filed an amended Response to Acker’s earlier Order inclusive of a Continue reading “Acker’s latest Order, Renfroe’s OMG amended Response – Renfroe v Rigsby and the Hunting of the Snark”