A Long Island engineering company and one of its former executives were charged on Monday in a scheme to minimize insurance payments to homeowners whose residences were damaged by Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
I reckon Nielsen and the rest of the gang has got a sharp eye peeled on this latest turn of events. After Katrina the DoJ, then under President Bushie, preferred not to take on any large campaign contributors insurance companies, even if they defrauded the taxpayers. That really has not changed under Obama with the development of the twin legal theories in “too big to fail” and “too big to jail” so the New York AG’s referral of other potential criminal acts to the US DoJ is certain to die on the vine. Continue reading “Those that dealt with insurers and their pet engineering firms after Katrina can certainly relate”
About the time that 60 minutes report ran Slabbed began receiving reports of layoffs at Nielsen, Carter and Treas as our own Magnum looks to be the one staggering out of the ring victorious in this legal slug fest. If the courts in the northeast re-visit the issue of Plaintiff’s attorney fees then the victory becomes complete.
Make no mistake folks, the battle ground is in the northeast but this is a good ol’ fashioned Louisiana blood feud. I’ll continue to follow this story, updating as time allows.
Any U. S. Magistrate from South Texas to the Southern District of Alabama could have written this exact same Order and Opinion in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and then Ike but discovery abuses were tolerated in the Fifth Circuit by and large. Cases were kneecapped out of the gate on the theory that money cases should settle and in the process bad faith claims handling was institutionalized under the law. Magistrate Gary Brown from the Eastern District of New York took a look at the case from a different angle and he came to a far different conclusion. Here is the salient verbiage:
The context remains important: according to the City of Long Beach, the losses here totaled approximately $205,000, while the testimony at trial suggested that the insurer has already paid out about $80,000. Pl’s Ex. 1. Thus, based on these rough figures, the most that could be at issue here amounted to approximately $125,000 and, based on the coverage limits of $250,000, no more than about $170,000 could be at stake. To a government-backed insurer, these are trifling figures, and in the world of federal cases, such figures are unimpressive, particularly when compared to the exorbitant costs of litigation. On the other hand, to individual homeowners, these are staggeringly large sums.
Before I present the 27 page Judicial beatdown of the National Flood Insurance Program and it’s lawyers over at Gerald Nielsen’s law firm, I’ll opine that what we have here is the tail wagging the dog. Magnum and his people over at Gauthier Houghtaling and Williams certainly expended a fortune to uncover the unsavory claims practices including the bullshit revised engineering reports insurers relied upon to deny coverage after Superstorm Sandy (and here on the coast after Hurricane Katrina) and they deserve props for the time, money and effort. Click the pic to nab the 27 page pdf:
I’m trying to make a concerted effort to enjoy the nice springtime weather but I’ve taken two very interesting phone calls since late last week as a couple of Slabbed subjects of interest have evidently been very bad boys.
“The six council members knew nothing of the agreement until after the grant was received,” said city attorney W. Fred Hornsby III. The council could have chosen not to pay Maxwell-Walker, he said, but agreed to give the firm the standard 6 percent finder’s fee of $180,000 for the grant.
The payment to Maxwell-Walker was not discussed in an open council meeting, only in executive session, Janus said.
Rather than putting a resolution for payment on the budget, it was added to the Dec. 20, 2011, docket of claims with the city’s other bills.