Rigsbys file “Motion to Reconsider Scope of Proceedings in Light of Evidence Adduced in Discovery” – ask Court for additional time to conduct Discovery into “the Scheme”

“Relators, through limited discovery, have already obtained sufficient evidence to demonstrate that State Farm engaged in a broad, systemic, intentional scheme to defraud the government. Moreover, discovery has revealed that State Farm’s scheme extends far beyond the McIntosh flood claim…”

While State Farm’s legal team has made every attempt to turn the upcoming trial into a “Scruggs sideshow” despite Judge Senter’s Order to the contrary, Counsel for the Rigsbys’ has, instead, presented the Court with the opportunity to reconsider the Scope of the Proceedings – an option commentor James Barbieri suggested when he posed the question, “if Judge Vance has expanded the scope, doesn’t this force Judge Senter to move beyond McIntosh”.  However, the Rigsbys’ Motion to Reconsider relied on evidence of “the scheme” gleaned from evidence revealed in Discovery, evidence supported with Exhibits attached to the Motion and discussed in the accompanying Memorandum in Support of Motion to Reconsider Scope of Proceedings…

“The NFIP Claims Manual requires that “repair estimates should be prepared room-by-room,on a unit-cost basis, clearly indicating dimensions and unit costs, except when the building has been completely destroyed.” NFIP Director David Maurstad testified that prior to Hurricane Katrina, flood claims had to be adjusted using a line-by-line stick build estimate. Maurstad also testified that following Hurricane Katrina, he tasked the NFIP Director of claims to come up with a method that “I could ultimately approve that could guide the Write Your Own Companies to handle claims in an expedited process specific to this . . . disaster, to Katrina.”

Maurstad testified that FEMA Directive W-5054 embodied the only expedited claims procedures that he authorized.  That directive allowed adjusters to use a square foot value estimator instead of a line-by line estimate in two very narrow circumstances: (1) when a home “had standing water in it for an extended period of time”; or (2) when a home was “washed off its foundation by flood water.”

Discovery revealed that State Farm ignored the NFIP and Memorandum W-5054. Rather than follow the NFIP’s rules, State Farm expressly applied their own rules, Continue reading “Rigsbys file “Motion to Reconsider Scope of Proceedings in Light of Evidence Adduced in Discovery” – ask Court for additional time to conduct Discovery into “the Scheme””

Catching up on Katrina litigation

With a lot of catching up to squeeze in a single post, I’ll jump right in and start with Bossier v State Farm as the trial starts in just a few days.  Judge Senter tied up all the loose ends with two orders issued last Friday.  First up is his Order granting in part Bossier’s only motion in limine.

Plaintiff’s Motion in Limine addresses three subjects: the admissibility of evidence surrounding Plaintiff’s receipt of a Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) grant and a loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA) arising from the Hurricane Katrina loss which is the subject of this cause of action; the interjection of personal comments by counsel for the Defendant during voir dire; and a letter from one of Defendant’s employees unconditionally tendering a check to Plaintiff for the payment of dwelling extension coverage under the insurance policy at issue here. Continue reading “Catching up on Katrina litigation”