This is breaking news folks and I will have more but for now click below to get the full 13 page decision, hot of the press. Its accountability time for State Farm and that is gonna cost the Rust family some big money:
The bottom line is “Trailer lawyers” > than State Farm’s lawyers.
And while I’ve been gone we have nooses on the loose at Stone High School while down in the Bay, Hizzoner and his new City Clerk decided to skip last night’s recessed meeting of the Bay City Council. Meantime Rick gave us the backstory on the change at Bay City prosecutor. And that just scratches the surface really.
Looking ahead this is the last week of the regular high school season here in Mississippi for classes 4A to 1A. The playoff brackets are out and it is certainty the Rocks will host the winner of Friday night’s Sumrall-Green County game on November 4th. Because the playoff orderings in Region 5 and 6 are not set there would be a total of 5 possible teams that would be there in Round 2, which would mean road games against Mendenhall, Northeast Jones or Quitman or home games against McComb or Lawrence County depending on who advances. Assuming Poplarville and SSC advance in their brackets, the November 18th match-up at Brother Phillip Stadium in the Bay should be quite the game. Very good teams in Florence and West Lauderdale round out the district winners of Regions 5 and 6 with one of those two teams likely to advance to South State in the other bracket.
In other news one of Slabbed’s inaugural topics, insurance claims handling after Hurricane Katrina hits the U.S. Supreme Court as arguments are scheduled in Ex Rel Rigsby on November 1. On tap the Court will resolve the three way split among the appellate Circuits regarding busting the case seal in False Claims Act cases. The 6th Circuit stands alone requiring auto dismissal if the case seal is broken while the rest have varying standards that would require the dismissal. Here in the 5th Circuit, cases are dismissed “only if the seal violation caused actual harm to the Government” pursuant to a balancing test. Joining what is viewed as the most conservative appellate Circuit in that approach is the most liberal in the 9th Circuit. When the time comes we’ll have a link for those that want to listen in on the oral arguments.
Breaking news this AM on twitter folks. Look for State Farm to do well in what has been a very favorable venue for them so the case is bound to die there. After all, the NFIP ratepayers are really a bunch of freeloaders and all 5,206,241 of you don’t equal up to one member of the Rust family let alone State Farm in the eyes of the Supreme Court.
Finally for those that missed it last week we have this from PBS and our own Magnum:
The Business of Disaster ~ PBS Frontline
She’d really have received an education in Stone County had she gone there at 2:30 in the morning:
Whistleblower put his ‘name on the line’ in fraud case against Stone County Hospital, owners ~ Anita Lee
Looking at the roster of combatants this false claims act case looks to be a fashionable fight and those that want to read the complaint can click here to download it for free from the DoJ. RFP was also Johnny on the Spot last night with an interesting link so for those of you that want to get an understanding of why this lawsuit has electrified the news power-user community here on the coast is to understand the man who the government has set its sites upon.
The business community is fairly diverse down here but there is a cohort of businessmen that in terms of money-making have few peers and Mr. Cain fits into that elite group. Money is the way the heavyweights keep score and the elites in this group are driven to excel in a game where there is only one way to proverbially win. My personal experience is that the closer you get to what a statistician would term the “right-tail” of the distribution (ie best in class in terms of money making ability), the sharper the elbows become. Few businessmen down here on the coast throw sharper elbows than Mr. Cain, who found himself in statewide news back in 2007/2008 when the legislature sunsetted the Mississippi State Board of Health due to numerous problems in the agency which were thought to be Board of Health inflicted. Continue reading “Critical indicator: There is a reason Anita went snooping around at the Chevron in Wiggins”
Treble damages are a bitch and then some folks. It’s all on PACER for those so interested but in the interest of time, let’s visit with Anita Lee as she has a good update up for today’s Sun Herald:
Judge: State Farm owes more than $3 million attorney fees, damages in whistle-blower case ~ Anita Lee
Both sides are appealing aspects of Judge Ozerden’s rulings in the case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Seems like it was just yesterday when South Mississippi’s fluffer congressman Steven Palazzo was patting himself on the back and claiming credit for fixing a disaster he helped create in the Biggert-Waters National Flood Insurance Program, which has dumped on the premium payers, billions of dollars in Wind Obligations private insurers stuck the program in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
So is everything OK now that Palazzo has “delayed” the inevitable? Heck no because you gotta have the Senate agree and Houston there is a problem! Manuel Torres has the skinny:
Vitter and Landrieu have also warned of the drastic effects of the upcoming flood insurance premium increases, and the two senators have unsuccessfully tried to attach amendments to other Senate bills to stop those rate hikes.
Some senators have objected to efforts to stop implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act, arguing that Congress passed that law, by large margins, to make the National Flood Insurance Program financially sustainable.
So how electing a sold out Ed Rust shoe shine boy working out for everyone in South Mississippi? On the bright side for those that are in decent financial condition the repo market has never been better down here in Soggy Bottom as ordinary folks are financially crushed and forced out under the weight of corporate greed and their own sold out politicians.
Maybe if he spent a little less time counting the campaign ca$h he get$ from $tate Farm executive$, the Congressman could spend more time representing the people in the 4th district.
Flood insurance measure heads to Senate ~ Da Noose
I love these snakes taking credit for throwing a scrap back to the populace after letting their insurance benefactors loot the NFIP dry, sticking the bill for the massive fraud on the little people in the process. Say what you want about Gene Taylor folks but he never put the interest of millionaire insurance executives from Illinois above the interest of his constituents.
And the first installment will simply list a few names that immediately come to mind as winners or losers in the aftermath of last week’s jury verdict at the Federal Courthouse in Gulfport finding State Farm guilty of extreme corporate douchebaggery. (H/T Lord and Lady Douchbag)
- Cori and Kerri Rigsby
- The McIntosh Family
- Augie Mattheis
- Heidelberg Harmon
- The United States Taxpayers
- Ed Rust Jr. at State Farm
- Mississippi Insurance Commish Mike Chaney (Someone get that man a seeing eye dog!)
- The Mississippi State Senate Insurance Committee
- Butler Snow
- Insurance Industry Shills too numerous to mention
State Farm began their defense in the Rigsby whistleblower lawsuit involving allegations they and other insurers defrauded the National Flood Insurance Program after Hurricane Katrina early this week and I immediately noticed a foul odor that seemed to emanate from the Federal Courthouse in Gulfport when former NFIP Director Dave Maurstad took the stand for State Farm. To understand Maurstad and the concept of the revolving door, you gotta understand these guys circle from private sector insurance related jobs to government regulatory positions and back each time collecting more career enhancing favors. With this bunch it is always about the next job so the insurance industry could not have had a better water boy in place when Katrina hit than Dave Maurstad.
But once upon a time ol’ Dave was not so keen to testify about the NFIP handling of Hurricane Katrina claims no siree. In Bolden v FEMA for instance Dave had to be compelled to show up at the Federal Courthouse to testify about the expedited claims process he and Lecky King came up with after Katrina. Worth noting is rather than let Maurstad testify FEMA opted to settle Bolden immediately. The bottom line is most people I listen to think Maurstad is a self serving hack under whose watch the NFIP sank into technical insolvency.
But it got deeper yesterday folks as State Farm retiree Lecky King took the stand with the sound of miniature violins playing in the background as Anita Lee explains in her latest dispatch from the Courthouse (I hope McClatchy sent a gas mask with her and is considering hazardous duty pay):
Career almost destroyed
Lecky King, on the other hand, said State Farm attorneys prepared her for her testimony. She spent her last few years at the company working on policyholder lawsuits filed after Katrina and on the case against her, which at one time was part of a criminal investigation that never resulted in charges.
Seems like it was just yesterday that King was living in an exclusive gated community in the Florida panhandle ducking subpoenas in the policyholder cases. In one of those cases an enterprising lawyer for a Slabber managed to get a birthday clown past the guards to serve some paper on King, whom I am fairly certain was richly rewarded by Ed Rust for her service in fattening his paycheck at the expense of natural disaster victims. Continue reading “Of being cursed with too much knowledge plus another Nowdygram: An Ex Rel Rigsby Update”
With due respect to Anita Lee I’ll let my former partner in blog go first:
Checked PACER to see if anything came up as the Rigsby’s rested their case…Sure nuf’ SF filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50 – just a docket entry…said the Court heard arguments and took the matter under advisement…did not say what the law was…
I looked up “judgment as a matter of law”
(a) Judgment as a Matter of Law.
(1) In General. If a party has been fully heard on an issue during a jury trial and the court finds that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue, the court may:
(A) resolve the issue against the party; and
(B) grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law against the party on a claim or defense that, under the controlling law, can be maintained or defeated only with a favorable finding on that issue.
(2) Motion. A motion for judgment as a matter of law may be made at any time before the case is submitted to the jury. The motion must specify the judgment sought and the law and facts that entitle the movant to the judgment.
I do not see Judge Ozerden tossing this suit mid trial and this rule 50 motion seems like a standard defense tactic. Turns out Cori Rigsby did not take the stand yesterday so the Plaintiffs rested their case and State Farm took the floor with a Woody:
State Farm never called Katrina ‘water’ storm, adjuster testifies ~ Anita Lee
Three adjusters testify State Farm claim properly handled properly ~ Anita Lee
Meantime up in Jersey:
2 months after Superstorm Sandy, many in most devastated South Jersey communities still struggling to recover ~ Spencer Kent and Brittany M. Wehner
Less satisfied with her insurance coverage is homeowner Jeanna Weber, a 25-year resident of Fortescue.Weber says she’s frustrated, tired of calling her insurance company without any response. She has been calling since October, she said, but to no avail.