Robohms issue reality check in motions filed today! Robohm v State Farm

The subject policy contains language commonly referred to as the “Anti-Concurrent Causation Provision” or “Weather Conditions” exclusion which State Farm has characterized as preventing any recovery for wind damage when the insured property also sustains damage caused by another weather condition… The Mississippi Supreme Court has rejected the argument that the anti-concurrent clause is not ambiguous or not enforceable. The Mississippi Supreme Court held, in Corban v. United Services Automobile Assn., 20 So.3d at ,-r,-r 32, 40-41, that the anti-concurrent clause was ambiguous and unenforceable to the extent that it purported to exclude any wind loss if it occurred separately from and in any sequence to excluded water loss.

State Farm has already argued this exact issue before the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in another identical Hurricane Katrina related case this month. (See Memorandum Opinion in Charles Spansel and Janet Spansel v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Company…) In Spansel, the District Court found that “State Farm has not shown it is entitled to summary judgment on this portion (anti-concurrent clause) of the declaratory judgment claim”. In light of this ruling and others like it, the doctrine of collateral estoppels prohibits State Farm from contending here that the contract for insurance is not ambiguous as to any perceived anti-concurrent clause.

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Declaratory Judgment, one of five motions the Robohms filed on the 19th of January, was followed on the docket by State Farm’s Motion for Summary Judgment or in the alternative Partial Summary Judgment and supporting Memorandum:

Plaintiffs’ claim for declaratory judgment fails because…it is at odds with Mississippi Supreme Court precedent establishing that the water damage exclusion in the applicable policy unambiguously excludes damage from storm surge and that the anti-concurrent causation clause excludes damage caused by wind and flood acting concurrently. See Corban v. United Servs. Auto. Ass’n, 20 So. 3d 601,614-15 (Miss. 2009).

Buckle up, folks. We’re going to the other end of the Coast – 423 East Beach Drive, Ocean Springs – and way back to see what this case is about before discussing the other motions filed yesterday.  Continue reading “Robohms issue reality check in motions filed today! Robohm v State Farm”

Juriscribe tackles arbitration/mediation and exposes the sleazy underbelly of Justice Inc.

Juriscribe was kind enough to email us a guest post on the topic of forced arbitration and mediation and the brewing scandal in the for profit mediation industry that has finally attracted the attention of Congress.  When I think of mediation I think of the MID post Katrina mediation program which was effectively controlled by the insurers and was described by most of the policyholder particiapants I know as demeaning:

People get worn out,” he says. “They get tired of fighting and give up. Eventually, they take whatever they are offered.”

Hunter’s assertion is perfectly illustrated by the story of Pam Collins and Joy Panks, co-owners of the Twin Lights gift shop in Old Town Bay St. Louis.

“Our insurance company owed us $172,000,” Panks says. The last time she and Collins drove to Hattiesburg for mediation, a representative from their insurance company met them with a check for $55,000. The check was physically placed on the negotiating table, and the two women were given three chances to accept it. “The fourth time, they said they were going to pick it up,” Panks says.

“We were begging,” Collins confesses, thinking back over all the company’s previous offers. The bargaining started at $30,000, then went up to $40,000. “They said $55,000 was the last offer.”


“Privatization” is a euphemism for big, for-profit corporations in the private sector capturing the right to sell and operate traditional government services from the public sector, and billing it all back to us at grossly profitable rates. Used to be corporations had to keep their greedy-assed tentacles off government services, cause that’s what we pay taxes for. The idea of Wall Street running prisons . . . unthinkable! Not so fast, Bush hadn’t run yet. When Dubya got in, for-profits went on an 8 year privatization binge, grabbing every government service they could get their French-cuffed arms around. Privatization was just one of the profit plays opened up by the Chaney-Bush-Rove triumvirate, and was of course payback for Bush pay-to-play donations, a/k/a political bribes. Today, for-profits own and/or manage federal and state prisons (CCA and Wackenhut); run and control FEMA (CSC); own and control city water systems; and are pushing to get interstate roads and highways in the bag.  The sales pitch: private business can do it cheaper and better. (Right, let’s contract out our next war to Blackwater and KBR).

What’s all this got to do with arbitration and mediation? Well, for many years an outfit called American Arbitration Association (AAA) has been greasing political palms, hoping to privatize the justice and court system and turn into a billing bonanza, like the prison thing. They got a good sales pitch too: “folks, if you’re pro-business, we gotta stop the lawyers, courts and juries, and we gotta get mandatory mediation-arbitration clauses in every kind of contract, and even where we don’t have one, we gotta get the courts to first push everybody through mediation-arbitration.” First thing the insurance companies love about this AAA tune is the melodic line “bye-bye constitutional right to jury trial.” Second, “how sweet it is” that people gotta pay twice. They’ve already paid to build the courthouse and salary the judge and staff to work there, now they gotta pay AAA’s exorbitant hourly rates for all this stuff again. That ought’a teach ’em to screw with big business! (Incidentally, in Mississippi some of these same folks are right now pushing to invent a new court, God forbid, the so-called “business court”). Continue reading “Juriscribe tackles arbitration/mediation and exposes the sleazy underbelly of Justice Inc.”

Mr Boyd You Were Weak and Therefore Deserved to be Taken Advantage of…..

Does Anita Lee read slabbed?  🙂  We discussed this issue at length here regarding the suit filed by Eldridge Boyd. Ms Lee has the report on the suit for the Sun Herald:

Policyholders who settled their Katrina claims through a state mediation program can’t sue their insurance company over the same property damage, a federal judge has ruled.

The settlement agreement is a binding contract that prevents policyholders from subsequently suing over the damage addressed, U.S. District Court Judge L.T. Senter Jr. has ruled.

Senter issued the opinion in the lawsuit Boyd v. State Farm. Continue reading “Mr Boyd You Were Weak and Therefore Deserved to be Taken Advantage of…..”

A Quick Shout Out

In my hobby world of investing, considering alternative viewpoints is crucial to success. While Katrina and the resulting litigation has been a frequent topic for national discussion, one of the reasons I began blogging was the story…..our story was not being conveyed from a local perspective.

Understanding Katrina and the totality of it’s aftermath requires living the experience. Understanding the litigation means there is no substitute for being present and accounted for as Mr Richard Trahant, the attorney for the Weiss family pointed out here. Unfortunately the alternative viewpoints of those who were slabbed by Katrina became lost in the shuffle on the national stage, often dismissed as fringe or emotional as well exhibited by “Thick” yesterday against the well reasoned alternative viewpoint of “Coastboy” in an insurance industry law blog.

Against that backdrop I was most honored to have yesterday’s Allstate Challenge post featured in Ms Vickie Pynchon’s Negotiation Law Blog. Her reply to the comment I left there was both excellent and even handed in my opinion. I urge our readers to pay Ms Pynchon’s entry a visit. Continue reading “A Quick Shout Out”