Larry, his brother Darryl and his brother Darryl take their act to the Qui Tam Olympics

A little background here for new readers and a refresher for others:  Larry, a character on the old Newhart show, spoke for himself and his two mute brothers, both of whom were named Darryl. (h/t Sop for the reminder).  “Qui Tam Olympics” is SLABBED shorthand for the insurance industry’s effort to play Mississippi Judge L.T.Senter and the Rigsby qui tam case against Louisiana Judge Sarah Vance and the Branch Consultants’ qui tam case and, now, the Denenea case too.

Got the picture? Meet the cast.  Although the roles change when to their advantage, at the moment Allstate has taken the role of Larry, State Farm that of one Darryl with the rest of the industry playing the other.

In other words, those in the insurance industry that were  “all in it together” – “it” being “the scheme” of fraudulent claims handling that followed Hurricane Katrina – are still “all in it together” with “it” being a pull-the-wool-over-the-court’s-eye scheme to fool the federal courts into dismissing all three qui tam cases. How do I know?  Well, wet wool smells – some say like a wet dog – and I picked up the scent reading documents filed in all three cases.

Hold your nose and I’ll link this wool-pulling scheme to the scheme and the qui tam insurance defendants that are among “The Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America”– and, if you’ll follow me as I briefly introduce Moffett, et al v Computer Sciences Corporation, et al (Maryland), I’ll also briefly introduce a breath of fresh air, Opperman, et al v Allstate, et al (New Jersey). Continue reading “Larry, his brother Darryl and his brother Darryl take their act to the Qui Tam Olympics”

Merlin's "Thoughts Regarding State Farm Rigsby Qui Tam and the Speed of the Oil Spill"

As pleased as we are to report Chip Merlin’s blog post complementing the “masterful job” SLABBED has done keeping abreast of…developments” in the Rigsby qui tam, his kind words come at a time when I have a truckload of guilt above all I have yet to report.  “Work” continues to be “the curse of the blogging class”, however, and my truckload of guilt pales in comparison to the truckload of work I have to complete on Monday.

Let me assure you that Chip hit the nail on the head in Thoughts Regarding State Farm Rigsby Qui Tam and the Speed of the Oil Spill when he called the qui tam litigation “a very complex matter” that has taken “quite a bit of time” – and, likewise, assure you that composing posts about this “very complex matter” also take “quite a bit of time”.

The Gulf Coast has hot and calm days that are merciless for those on the water. I recall my teenage years in Mississippi, stripping to briefs and jumping off a sailboat that was going nowhere fast on a calm morning race in Mobile Bay. I was thinking about that while attending a deposition of Chris McIntosh in Gulfport yesterday and after reading emails from marine engineers who suggest that it will take several months, rather than weeks, for the worst of the oil spill onslaught to reach Florida.

The civil litigation in the Rigsby qui tam litigation seems to move as slow as my sailboat on a calm day. The McIntosh’s claim is a focal point, as the very able qui tam team representing the Rigsby sisters tries to prove that State Farm conspired to overpay national flood claims to reduce its own exposure for amounts owed on State Farm all risk policies. Since State Farm adjusted flood claims, it was an obvious temptation to overpay the non-covered flood peril through Write Your Own National Flood coverage and pay a smaller remainder under State Farm’s own all risk policy. The Rigsby sisters, acting as Relators for the general benefit of the federal government to recoup these overpayments in a qui tam litigation, are attempting to prove this occurred in the Katrina claims handling.

Slabbed has done a masterful job keeping abreast of these developments. The discovery has obtained emails and other State Farm documents not previously made available in the prior individual State Farm Katrina litigation. Policyholder attorneys and those with actions against State Farm should be studying this case as it progresses. As indicated, the litigation has taken quite a bit of time, but the qui tam counsel are doing a masterful job in a very complex matter.

Before moving to  what Merlin calls “the oil spill mess”, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a significant portion of the  comment from a reader who testified at a trial on a policyholder’s claim on property with “severe wind and flood damage from Hurricane Ivan – documenting Katrina was not the “first rodeo” for insurer’s billing wind damage to the National Insurance Program: Continue reading “Merlin's "Thoughts Regarding State Farm Rigsby Qui Tam and the Speed of the Oil Spill"”