Nanny, nanny boo- boo!
“…the Fifth Circuit knew full well that Allstate had been voluntarily dismissed from Rigsby before it ruled…”
You can’t catch me!
Significantly, Branch does not even attempt to address any of the controlling authority cited by Allstate that a voluntary dismissal is not tantamount to a dismissal under Rule 9(b) or for lack of any factual basis, much less a concession that the suit is a sham.
Judge Vance doesn’t strike me as someone with any interest in having her courtroom turned into a playground – much less someone with patience for bullies on any playground. However, along came Pilot to add to the taunt.
Stick you face in doo-doo!
Indeed, unlike any of the ninety-one other insurers not named in Rigsby (or the adjusters for those insurers), Pilot and Crawford were identified in Rigsby as “co-conspirators” that worked on the same “sites” as Allstate and State Farm, the defendant insurers for which they provided adjusting services.
Pilot then steps in deep doo-doo Continue reading “Allstate’s “nanny nanny boo-boo, you can’t catch me” defense of Louisiana qui tam cases”
“…the amount of control that Farmers exerted over the everyday adjusting activities of these workers belied the title of independent contractor”
Judge Senter stopped short of employment law in deciding the question of “retaliatory discharge” in ex rel Rigsby v State Farm. Although there is no such claim in ex rel Sonnier v Allstate, Relator Kermith Sonnier is the adjuster who successfully sued Farmers for wrongfully terminating his employment:
Plaintiff Kermith Sonnier worked as a commercial claims adjuster for Farmers Insurance from 1994 to 1997. His job included evaluating the largest losses sustained by apartment buildings and condominium associations in the Northridge earthquake of 1994.
Sonnier alleged that beginning in 1996, Farmers began to pressure him to groundlessly lower his loss estimates. He refused, and Farmers terminated him, despite a clean work record, on the purported grounds that it was reducing its work force…
Hold those thoughts as I stop to point out that Sonnier’s work for Farmer’s was through his affiliation with Pilot, the firm providing adjusting services for Allstate following Hurricane Katrina and a named defendant in the Branch Consultants qui tam case against Allstate.
Through his attorneys, Stephen C. Ball and Derrick Fisher, Sonnier brought an action against Farmers for wrongful termination in violation of public policy. Sonnier’s counsel state that their biggest challenge was not proving Farmers’ impropriety but establishing the existence of an employer-employee relationship between Farmers and Sonnier. Continue reading “Adjusters “special employees” not “contractors” – Farmers lost $10.4 million “wrongful termination” case filed by you won’t believe who”
And, then there were four – ex rel Rigsby, ex rel Branch Consultants, ex rel Denenea and, now, ex rel Sonnier v Allstate:
ALLSTATE’s price allowed on wind policy estimates of loss in the State of Louisiana for painting damaged areas was between $0.15 and $0.38 per square foot. However, on NFIP flood policy estimates, ALLSTATE allowed $0.56 per square foot, a difference of between $0.18 and $0.41 per square foot. Thus, if the true and correct cost to repaint flood damaged property was between $0.15 and $0.38 per square foot (i.e., the same cost listed by defendant, ALLSTATE, to paint the same unit of drywall covered under the wind policy issued for the same property by defendant, ALLSTATE, and applicable to the same loss event), ALLSTATE caused the federal government to overpay ALLSTATE between $0.15 and $0.41 for every square foot required to be painted in every NFIP flood policy loss estimate adjusted and initially paid by ALLSTATE but subsequently submitted to the federal government for full reimbursement to ALLSTATE.
Kermith Sonnier, “the Relator is a licensed insurance adjuster with 30 years experience…principal shareholder of Sonnier & Fisher Public Adjusters, LLC, a public adjusting firm based in Lake Charles, Louisiana”.
The allegations in Mr. Sonnier’s recently unsealed qui tam Complaint against Allstate are Plus-Size – over a $1,00o,ooo,000 federal dollars fraudulently by manipulating multiple costs in claims submitted to the NFIP from multiple disasters in multiple locations over the six year period prior to filing the Complaint under seal on December 10, 2009. Continue reading “Allstate painted (literally) company in a Billion $ Corner – ex rel Sonnier v: FOURTH qui tam Complaint filed against Allstate”