State Farm singing second verse same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse in documents filed yesterday

OK, Scouts, you don’t have to sing along; but, you do need to know that no matter what the farmer said, it did do harm when the cow kicked Nellie in the stomach in the barn.  Nellie was fine, just a little stunned, but the cow broke its leg and was done.

State Farm filed a Response and Memorandum Wednesday singing the verse about the stolen [sic] documents and broken [sic] seal a little bit louder and a little bit worse. in opposition to the Rigsbys motion to propound expedited document requests.  Needless to say, they weren’t singing to a choir here – not with that songbook; not with all of the contradicting information readily available to those willing to search.

(1) courts have held that employees with a good faith reason to believe their employer is engaged in unlawful conduct “[have] a legitimate interest in preserving evidence of [their employer’s] unlawful employment practices.

(2) the court also dealt with the issue of whether a former employee could be compelled to return materials taken from the employer that might demonstrate fraud. The court responded in the negative, finding less onerous ways of preventing this information from being used…

(3)…it is paramount to recognize that the duties of confidentiality and loyalty are qualified and must acquiesce to matters of public interest irrespective of whether those duties flow from an express confidentiality agreement or a common law fiduciary duty.

(4)…a claim for conversion cannot be found where the owner has not been deprived of title or Continue reading “State Farm singing second verse same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse in documents filed yesterday”

Catch-all update on Shows, McIntosh, and the Rigsby qui tam claim

Along with the truckload of State Farm motions in the qui tam cases that I’ve yet to post and the orders in McIntosh that I’ve just posted, there are a handful best tossed in a single catch-all post.

In Shows v State Farm, Magistrate Judge Linda Alexander issued an Order granting the pending Motions to Sever, incorporating the language requested in Renfroe’s related unopposed motion, and authorized the transfer of these cases to Judges Walker and Senter.

The motions are unopposed by any party, subject to the understanding that E. A. Renfroe & Company, Inc., Gene Renfroe, or Jana Renfroe, shall not be named as defendants in the amended complaints filed by the Summers and Simpson, and that the amended complaints do not include a RICO conspiracy or civil conspiracy claim relating to their Hurricane Katrina insurance claims. The Court finds that the motions are well advised and should be granted.

Is the ease with which it appears these plaintiffs dropped claims against Refroe an indication of anything other than the nature of the claims? Something to think about – particularly if you’re one of the Renfroes.

The leading candidate for snark-of-the-week thus far is State Farm’s Response to the Rigsby’s motion requesting an extension of time to prepare a response to various State Farm motions.

…no discovery is necessary “in order [for the Rigsbys] to prepare responses, rebuttals, or supporting memoranda,” to the pending dispositive motions. Continue reading “Catch-all update on Shows, McIntosh, and the Rigsby qui tam claim”

Senter issues order in Rigsby qui tam case – a legal Patton

In the often cruel and seemingly out-of-control world of Katrina litigation, the opinion/order Judge Senter issued today assures us he’s in control and demanding the best of all who come before him – a Patton addressing his troops before Normandy.

“Men, this stuff that some sources sling around…is a crock of bullshit. The General paused and looked over the crowd. “You are not all going to die,” he said slowly. “Only two percent of you right here today would die in a major battle…

A man must be alert at all times if he expects to stay alive. If you’re not alert, sometime, a German son-of-an-asshole-bitch is going to sneak up behind you and beat you to death with a sockful of shit!”

Patton’s grim expression did not change. “There are four hundred neatly marked graves somewhere in Sicily”, he roared into the microphone, “All because one man went to sleep on the job”. He paused and the men grew silent. “But they are German graves, because we caught the bastard asleep before they did”.

As you’ll see, Senter’s opinion/order was a victory for the public and a defeat for none of the parties involved – and no one should suggest otherwise. Read it for yourself – if not for the information, for pleasure of reading a textbook-worthy opinion.

At some point, this action has to be resolved on its merits, and the enormous sideshow that has developed around the identity of Relators’ counsel and the wrongful taking of these documents has to stop. By previous order, I have set a briefing schedule for the dispositive motions now pending, and I am sure there are other motions yet to come. I would like to reach the merits of these motions and indeed the merits of this action as soon as possible. The parties and the public deserve no less.

Continue reading “Senter issues order in Rigsby qui tam case – a legal Patton”