Tim Marshall, storm chaser…drove from his home in the Dallas area to a Slidell parking garage in an extended cab Chevy pickup, loaded down with supplies and technology, to track Hurricane Katrina…
The Sun Herald’s Anita Lee described Marshall, a shareholder in Haag Engineering, as appearing every inch the mild-mannered engineer in his business suit and oversized wire-rimmed glasses on the witness stand. But get him out of a courtroom and it’s like Superman stepping from the phone booth.
Oklahoma attorney Jeff Marr, on the other hand, told Lee, The jury hated him…They viewed him as a professional witness… gave him the consideration his expert opinion deserved and wrote him off.
Following Hurricane Katrina, Haag’s Superman, the professional witness, became a survey-thumping Reverend Leroy holding forth in the Church of What’s Happening Now -Mississippi’s Southern District Federal Court.
Abundant evidence exists to document the role Haag played in State Farm’s claims handling. The date of the Survey’s publication, on the other hand, only documents the date a published report was available; but, Haag’s post-hearing brief attempts to play word games with the Court:
The evidence [sic] has shown that the Haag Survey did not exist at the time the McIntosh flood claim was adjusted and submitted to the government.
The 30(b)(6) deposition of Marsha Slaughter in Williams v State Farm, taken October 19, 2006, provides a start point for discussing the Haag Survey in the context of State Farm’s claims handling after the storm – contrary to what Haag’s recent [sic] Answer and Amended Answer to the Rigsby qui tam complaint suggests. Continue reading “Haag in the Church of What’s Happening Now in Rigsby qui tam”
Evidentiary disclosure is Michael Oher protecting the Rigsby qui tam.
Nonetheless, State Farm, Forensics, and Haag each recently took a shot – a strategic play intended to force Judge Senter to reveal his game plan.
On its face, Judge Senter’s focus on the McIntosh claim seems too narrow. In the context of evidentiary disclosure in qui tam litigation, however, it takes on a different look – one that makes evidence such as the McIntosh claim secondary to the scheme of the fraud. A Fifth Circuit decision explains:
We hold that to plead with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud for a False Claims Act § 3729(a)(1) claim, a relator’s complaint, if it cannot allege the details of an actually submitted false claim, may nevertheless survive by alleging particular details of a scheme to submit false claims paired with reliable indicia that lead to a strong inference that claims were actually submitted.
The “reliable indicia” include those contained in the Complaint as well as the those in the Disclosure Statement. Continue reading “Evideniary disclosure is Michael Oher of Rigsby qui tam”
SLABBED can just flat out slab every spare moment and Sop and I both keep a “to do” list. At the top of mine is cleaning up the legal files to make room for more cases.
I’ve been working on and off all day and am almost done with documents related to the May pre-trial hearing in the Rigsby qui tam.
Just won’t happen today but there’s a lot more in the file now than there was this morning.
There is also a search box in the upper right corner of this page.
If you’re looking for information on ex rel Rigsby v State Farm, and can’t find what you need, use the contact form below to send me an email or shoot one to Sop. His addy is in the popular upper right corner.
Enjoy the weekend!
Details coming but short story is that McIntosh false claim will go to jury first. Then Judge Senter will consider discovery on other claims. He has also asked State Farm to submit information on similar claims.
Summary judgment was also granted on the retaliation claim.
Congratulations Kerri and Cori and most of all thank you!
Minding their quis and tams and with just three days to respond to Judge Senter’s order of invitation, the attorneys for the Rigsby sisters only took two before filing the Relators’ Response to State Farm’s Memorandum to this Court!
They made short work of it, too. Without a single attached Exhibit, the nine-page document said all that needed to be said in less than six pages:
In its April 6, 2009 Order, this Court offered Relators Kerri Rigsby and Cori Rigsby (“Relators”) an opportunity to respond State Farm’s Response and Memorandum to its prior order… in which State Farm objected to the depositions of Alexis “Lecky” King (“King”), Brian Ford (“Ford”), Jack Kelly (“Kelly”), and three eyewitnesses to the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the McIntosh home. Relators respectfully submit that State Farm’s response provides no basis to doubt the necessity and relevance of those depositions.
The Relators also respectfully submit three well-reasoned points to support their position. Continue reading “Minding their quis and tams – Rigsbys accept the Court’s invitation, file Response to State Farm Memorandum”
Katrina was hell and Sop’s story of his trip to hell and back gave our resident construction-specialized CPA the PhD in storm surge evident in his post yesterday and comments this morning.
Storm surge was not something one sees growing up in the tornado alley that cuts across north Mississippi. Judge Senter, I’ve noted, also comes from that part of the State – accounting in some part, no doubt, for his clear understanding of the damage wind alone can do.
No one has to grow up in a coastal area to understand storm surge..
Storm surge is simply water that is pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create the hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level 15 feet or more. In addition, wind driven waves are superimposed on the storm tide. Continue reading “Hell and high water – part 2”
No need to spell relieved when Judge Acker’s lip prints are all over his Order kissing Renfroe v Rigsby good-bye – and, just guessing, but I suspect there’s lipstick on the Rigbys’ copy and Renfroe’s, too.
The court having been informed that the parties in the above entitled action have reached a settlement, the action is hereby DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE. The parties shall have until 4:30 p.m., April 30, 2009, to request the substitution of a modified stipulated final judgment and to inform the court what should be done with the documents in the court’s custody. Unless there is a joint request to relinquish the documents to a named person, the documents will be shredded by the court.
The parties shall bear their own respective costs. DONE this 7th day of April, 2009.
Judge Acker’s realization that he’s stuck with a truckload of qui tam evidence in his office reminds me of State Farm’s Response to Relators’ Motion for Leave to Propound Expedited Document Requests in Order to Respond to Defendants’ Pending Dispositive Motions:
Turn the clock back to August 27, 2008: Continue reading “How do you spell Renfroe v Rigsby? O-V-E-R”
For your Friday afternoon reading pleasure, here’s a peek at the game of duck-duck-goose Renfroe and State Farm are playing with the motions they file in Mississippi (McIntosh v State Farm) and Alabama (Renfroe v Rigsby).
As “peek” implies this game goes on all the time – this particular round started when Judge Walker issued an order compelling the Scruggses to provide documents for discovery in McIntosh. If you need more background, you can read the Scrugges’ response, State Farm’s reply, and the Scruggses supplemental response.
Here’s that “peek” at how the game is playing now. Continue reading “Renfroe-State Farm play duck-duck-goose with motions in Mississippi and Alabama”