We posted about this case here, when we noted information from O’Keefe was used to bust State Farm’s BS in not providing docs they knew they possessed. Such unethical tactics by corporate defendants consititue the ugly underbelly of commercial litigation and State Farm is famous in legal circles for regularily engaging in these tactics.
It was clear from Judge Wilkerson’s order on the second motion to compel his patience with the Farm’s BS was wearing thin. His order on the third motion to compel sanctions State Farm and awards the plaintiff’s $600 in attorney fees. It appears as if the good Judge is also tiring of the nonsensical legal briefs he is getting from the Farm’s legal team in this case as they beclown themselves before their peers:
Defendant delayed until after the 30-day deadline for providing responses and after this motion was filed to provide responses. Defendant never filed a motion with the court requesting an extension of the deadline. When it filed its late responses, they contained objections that were largely meritless Continue reading “Nonsensical legal replies and crossing judges fraught with sanction potential: Frught v State Farm. Judge Wilkerson’s had enough of the Farm’s BS.”
To understand how State Farm conducts litigation to the detriment of the court system you have to look at the big picture and how cases such as Watkins in Oklahoma City relate to cases like O’Keefe, Kuehn, and a multitude of others involving bad faith claims adjusting by the Farm here in the aftermath of Katrina. The Farm’s tactics are pretty simple after a major natural disaster. Deny valid claims and then spend the next 7 years or so wearing out individual policyholders in the already clogged US court system in the process slithering their way out of otherwise valid contractual obligations. Simply put, the majority of litigants, just like Thomas McIntosh simply wear out and take peanuts on their claims.
A good way to drag out litigation is to not properly produce evidence during the discovery phase of the litigation and then fight for months over motions to compel witnesses and/or documents. As we’ve said here repeatedly State Farm does this because judges, many former insurance defense lawyers themselves, let them get by with such bad behavior without consequence.
This post and the landing of Frught on our radar screens resulted from one of our readers sending me Magistrate Judge Wilkinson’s related order on this case along with the following note:
It is a travesty every time he gets passed over to be a district judge, simply because he……. (has) no strong political ties. (Judge Wilkinson) knows more about federal procedure than (many of the) judges in the Eastern District of Louisiana Courthouse.
Of course reading Judge Wilkinson’s order immediately sent me to PACER for the original motion to compel and it was there I found the Frught’s lawyers certainly must be a frosty bunch and regular slabbed readers as documents from O’Keefe, a case Nowdy and I have profiled repeatedly here on Slabbed, surface in support of the Frught’s motion to compel. For State Farm, the knowledge we spread is indeed fraught with danger for the company and certain of the unethical lawyers that are willing to do their bidding by ignoring valid discovery requests in hopes the lawyers on the other side are ignorant of the goings on in other cases covering the same issues. It is for that reason and with some pride that I’ll add that lawyers with active wind water cases are not fully representing their clients if they do not read our case profiles regularily.
For the balance of this post I’ll present the docs in the order I read them beginning with Judge Wilkinson’s order on the Frught’s motion to compel:
All of State Farm’s objections to Topics Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 are overruled. Discovery concerning these topics is highly relevant and clearly calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. The topics are in no way vague or unduly burdensome. If State Farm persists in the position taken in its motion papers that it has no knowledge concerning Topics Nos. 3 and 4, despite the evidence presented by plaintiff to the contrary, it should produce a corporate representative to say so under oath, so that the witness may be impeached, if plaintiff can do so. Continue reading “Spreading knowledge via the internet is sometimes Fraught with danger: Frught v State Farm”