What’s up? What’s going down? – a quick look around at Katrina litigation

Let’s start with this update on Rigsby qui tam defendant Forensic Engineering (FAEC).  At last mention, Forensic had not obtained substitute counsel and Judge Walker had denied current counsel’s motion to withdraw. setting an April 2 deadline for submission of the Company’s designation of experts.   What’s up includes FAEC’s Joinder and Designation of Experts:

(“Forensic”)…joins in the Supplemental Combined Expert Disclosure…and Supplemental Expert Disclosures…filed by State Farm Fire and Casualty Company (“State Farm”) in this matter, to the extent applicable to Plaintiffs’ claims against Forensic.

Pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 (a)(2), Forensic also designates John B. Kelly, P.E., as one of their experts. John B. Kelly is a Principal Structural Engineer that will opine that all the engineering reports and revised engineering reports were true and correct, and done in accordance with sound scientific/engineering principles and observation of the conditions at the site.

Forensic, of course, “reserves the right to call any expert listed, designated or called by any other Party” – and it’s safe to say there will be witnesses that offer a view contrary to that of Kelly.

What’s going down? It seems the Easter Bunny joined Santa Clause and the O’Keefe’s have now reached a settlement in Dancel Group, Inc. et al v. United States Fidelity and Guaranty Company et al in addition to the settlement of O’Keefe v State Farm, announced in the SLABBED post that published Christmas Eve.

What’s up with Kuehn v State Farm? Hard to tell, frankly.  In the Christmas Eve catch-all linked above, SLABBED reported the what the Kuehn’s Counsel, Earl Denham, wanted to go down.

If it occurs to you and to State Farm to do the right thing by the Kuehns, instead of the strategic thing, which you have attempted through this cynical, tardy tender, then why don’t you engage in meaningful and realistic negotiations to settle my clients’ damages instead of continuing at the Kuehns’ expense in trying to redirect the law of appraisal in Mississippi? We stand ready, as we have always been, to engage you in good faith.

What Denham got in return for his offer of “good faith” was the legal equivalent of ashes and switches, an Offer of Judgment on the 20th of January – and today State Farm filed another.  Continue reading “What’s up? What’s going down? – a quick look around at Katrina litigation”


We’re back at the fork of the road and continuing with the second part of Forked! “Bifurcation for Dummies”… Our first source document is the 53 pages of correspondence between State Farm’s Butler-Snow attorneys Bob Galloway and Jeffrey Walker and August Matteis attorney for the Rigsby sisters, exhibits from State Farm’s 420-page Motion to Compel.

In the first of this two-part post, we learned State Farm translates “bifurcation” as we go our way and you go both ways” and Matteis takes Judge Senter as a man of his word.   In the remaining two letters, Jeffery Walker fills in for Galloway.  Although no small feat considering the size of Galloway’s e-pistol, Wright condenses Galloway’s points into four pages and fattens the straw man. Clearly, State Farm refuses to bifurcate Scruggs while Matteis presses on with his insistence the first trial is all about the McIntosh claim.

Matteis is so consistent with his fidelity to the Court’s direction that we will also take a look at the Relators’ Expedited Motion to Compel Haag Engineering Co. to Produce Documents and Answer Interrogatories Prior to the Depositions of Tim Marshall and Paul O’Connor and the role roles played by Haag’s counsel, Larry Canada – but first, Continue reading “Forked!”

The Scheme: final curtain – who done it (Chapter 7 qui tam)

For what is a man, what has he got?
If not himself, then he has naught.

a good neighbor, the one on your side, good hands people – the relationship between policy holders and their insurer is one of trust. – beginning with trust in the local agent that sells the policy; reflected in trust of the company that follows.

Yet behind the clever slogans and familiar faces lies a culture that views every claim as a potential case of insurance fraud – and trust is replaced with betrayal.  Premium dollars have made fraud detection a separate industry – one with its future riding on the continued public perception of widespread insurance fraud.

Fraud, to be certain, is a serious problem; however, the resulting problem-focused solutions have created far greater problems.

I planned each charted course;
Each careful step along the byway

The industry’s response to Katrina -captured  in Frontline’s The old man and the storm –  has been nothing short of a disaster itself, as this preview of the January 6, 2009 annual update suggests.  The charted coursea  haystack of needles – is an enterprise management system.rate_my_network_diagram2

From an IT management perspective, Enterprise Management essentially means enterprise-wide network administration, which is becoming increasingly complex. The corporate network environment is no longer tied to a single vendor, let alone a single platform. More and more, corporate intranets are multidomain, multiprotocol, multiplatform systems. They contain hardware and operating systems from a number of different, competing vendors… Continue reading “The Scheme: final curtain – who done it (Chapter 7 qui tam)”

Rip Van Winkle fills and files “kitchen sink” in Rigsby Qui Tam

Honest to goodness, if Rip Van Winkle didn’t wake up and file the Amended Answer for defendant Forensic Analysis and Engineering, it’s difficult to account for many of 67 defenses (yes, 67!).

New to the case or not, any Statue of Limitations that might apply would not consider the date an attorney makes an appearance; but, that’s only date that might, just might, be beyond some limit.


Some or all of the claims may be barred by the applicable statutes of limitations.

Like many of the defenses, the fifth had no supporting citation.  In those defenses with a citation, the reference was broad with no information on how it might apply.  For example:


Some or all of the claims are barred by public policy.

A particularly bewildering defense are the many related to punitive damages beginning with defense thirteen and continuing through defense twenty-six save the one exception, defense twenty-five.


Punitive damages violate the due process, equal protection, and excessive fines clauses of the constitutions of the United States of America and the State of Mississippi.

What makes the twelve punitive damage defenses so bewildering is that no punitive damages are sought. Continue reading “Rip Van Winkle fills and files “kitchen sink” in Rigsby Qui Tam”