Scrooges and Stooges – State Farm attorneys pack the sleigh!

More rapid than eagles these coursers they came

Scrooges and Stooges that went straight to work

Filling stockings with motions and giving justice a jerk!

Katrina insurance litigation is beginning to not look at lot like Christmas – even when State Farm slips in a check.  Take Kuehn v State Farm, for example.  Anita Lee reported State Farm pays up, but argues award was in error in Monday’s Sun Herald:

State Farm Fire & Casualty Co. recently paid a couple $179,100.31 for Katrina damage, but their attorney said the check came too late to save Henry and June Kuehn’s Cove Place home.

Attorney Earl Denham said the two-story house further deteriorated as the Kuehns awaited settlement of their insurance claim. The city of Ocean Springs wants the property cleaned up.

U.S. District Judge L.T. Senter Jr. ordered the Katrina payment in August, but State Farm has asked him to reconsider the ruling.

“This amount is tendered without recourse, but with the understanding that this is not an admission of an amount owed,” said a letter sent with the check by State Farm attorney Scot Spragins of Oxford. “Given the circumstances, State Farm has decided to make this tender to eliminate the threatened destruction of the Kuehns’ home.

“State Farm intends to continue to litigate the issue. In the event that we are successful and it is determined that these sums are not owed, then State Farm will not seek reimbursement.”

Denham replied the next day: Continue reading “Scrooges and Stooges – State Farm attorneys pack the sleigh!”

Now, about that document State Farm produced for Judge Senter in Rigsby qui tam

so I may know the outer limits of the potential claims involved in this
action, I will require State Farm to submit, in camera, a list containing the name of the insured, the address of the property, and the amount of flood insurance paid, for all SFIP claims that meet the following criteria…

Let’s just cut to the chase here and consider whether the  list of State Farm policyholder claims the Company was Ordered to provide Judge Senter was worth the paper it was written on.

Lizana’s response to State Farm (Lizana v State Farm) gives cause for concern about the integrity of the claims file produced in discovery for any given case  and even more about the integrity of the list of claims meeting Judge Senter’s criteria.

On or about February 6, 2009, Plaintiffs served discovery requests to Defendant, which contained numerous requests for information regarding Defendant’s first party property claims handling procedures, the investigation and handling of Plaintiffs’ claims, and Defendant’s data storage systems, retention policies and procedures, and communication transmittals, among other requests seeking relevant information and data.

Fast forward to November 2009. Continue reading “Now, about that document State Farm produced for Judge Senter in Rigsby qui tam”

SLABBED Daily – October 1

The big slab of the day comes from President Obama who apparently can’t tell a federal flood from a hurricane.  Geoff Pender reports for the Sun Herald.

The White House on Wednesday indicated that President Barack Obama’s trip to the “hurricane damaged Gulf Coast” will not include Mississippi, nor, apparently, the Gulf Coast.

“The President will travel to New Orleans,” a White House spokesman said in a written response to the Sun Herald’s question of whether he would travel to Mississippi in his first trip to the region after being elected. Obama had promised to visit the Katrina damaged region by the end of his first year in office.

So the change we need is…a map.  Quick, someone get the President a map!

It appears State Farm has a similar problem.  Deborah Trotter’s response in opposition to State Farm’s motion to compel New Light Baptist Church to supplement discover tells that story: Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – October 1”

SLABBED Monthly – September (catching up on Rigsby, Bossier, Robohm, Anthony, Harris, Montet, Lizana, and New Light Baptist v State Farm)

Thirty days hath September; but, this September it would take 60 to get everything done – and I’m not the only one wondering if the season is called “fall” because those who don’t fall behind are about to fall over.  Sop sends me text messages as he and little Sop make their way from football practice to a soccer game; and, I text back as soon as I find a place to pull over.  Since we can’t begin October without September done, I’ve grabbed a handful of incomplete posts and tossed the basic information into this update.

Rigsby v State Farm:

NOTICE of Hearing: Telephonic Status Conference set for 10/13/2009 01:30 PM before Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker to establish a scheduling order for the discovery and trial of the Relators claim. One week prior to the conference, counsel are to submit, via email, a confidential memo in PDF format, detailing anticipated discovery by each party (including the number and names of deponents) and a requested time frame for discovery.

Bossier v State Farm

Several interesting developments here including this surprising one – Judge Walker issued an Order denying (yes, denying) a State Farm motion!

The evidence presented to the Court is uncontested that Fountain prepared the affidavit; that the affidavit included only part of what Ziz told Fountain; and that it omitted information about the rapid rise of flood waters from the Bay of  Biloxi. This Court finds such evidence insufficient to warrant disqualification of counsel. It is therefore, ORDERED that the motion to disqualify Attorney Stanton J. Fountain , Jr. as counsel for Plaintiff is denied.

Bossier’s counsel, coast attorney Judy Guice aka Seabiscuit (Judybisquit) withdrew the motion to expedit a  hearing on sanctions against State Farm for violation of the court’s September 3 order pending review of the documents belatedly provided by State Farm. (emphasis added)

On September 24, 2009, at approximately noon, counsel for Plaintiff received four discs represented to contain claims files ordered by this Honorable Court on September 3, 2009. Said discs appear to contain documents relating to approximately 150 claims files. (emphasis on 150 added!)

Meanwhile, State Farm has filed Continue reading “SLABBED Monthly – September (catching up on Rigsby, Bossier, Robohm, Anthony, Harris, Montet, Lizana, and New Light Baptist v State Farm)”

Oh my God! State Farm files motion to compel New Light Baptist Church to supplement discovery

I come to the Garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
and the voice I hear, falling on my ear…

is Scott Spragins – and he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me:

State Farm propounded its First Set of Interrogatories and First Request for Production on 6 May 2009. Plaintiff propounded responses to State Farm’s interrogatories and request for production on 6 May 2009. (Plaintiff’s Responses to Interrogatories and Request for Production attached as Exhibit A).

On 27 May 2009 State Farm’s counsel directed the attached Good Faith Letter to Plaintiffs’ counsel in an attempt to secure supplemental responses. (Good Faith Letter attached as Exhibit B [Exhibits B-F ]).  State Farm’s counsel specifically advised that “[m]any of these responses are evasive or incomplete,and require immediate supplementation.” (see Exhibit B).

Exhibit E motion to compel
State Farm's Motion to Compel Supplemental Discovery from New Life Baptist Church: Exhibit E

On 21 July 2009 Plaintiff’s counsel advised it was working with Pastor Nathaniel Smith and that it would supplement discovery no later than 4 August 2009. (see Exhibit C).  On 19 August 2009 after Plaintiff failed to provide supplemental responses by 4 August 2009, counsel for State Farm again wrote requesting same. (see Exhibit D).

Finally on 21 August 2009 counsel for Plaintiff advised “after careful consideration by the Pastor, he has determined that he is unable to add anything further.” (see Exhibit E).

Can you believe it? A motion to compel a church to supplement discovery when clearly Pastor Smith’s careful consideration Continue reading “Oh my God! State Farm files motion to compel New Light Baptist Church to supplement discovery”