This is breaking news folks and I will have more but for now click below to get the full 13 page decision, hot of the press. Its accountability time for State Farm and that is gonna cost the Rust family some big money:
The bottom line is “Trailer lawyers” > than State Farm’s lawyers.
And while I’ve been gone we have nooses on the loose at Stone High School while down in the Bay, Hizzoner and his new City Clerk decided to skip last night’s recessed meeting of the Bay City Council. Meantime Rick gave us the backstory on the change at Bay City prosecutor. And that just scratches the surface really.
Looking ahead this is the last week of the regular high school season here in Mississippi for classes 4A to 1A. The playoff brackets are out and it is certainty the Rocks will host the winner of Friday night’s Sumrall-Green County game on November 4th. Because the playoff orderings in Region 5 and 6 are not set there would be a total of 5 possible teams that would be there in Round 2, which would mean road games against Mendenhall, Northeast Jones or Quitman or home games against McComb or Lawrence County depending on who advances. Assuming Poplarville and SSC advance in their brackets, the November 18th match-up at Brother Phillip Stadium in the Bay should be quite the game. Very good teams in Florence and West Lauderdale round out the district winners of Regions 5 and 6 with one of those two teams likely to advance to South State in the other bracket.
In other news one of Slabbed’s inaugural topics, insurance claims handling after Hurricane Katrina hits the U.S. Supreme Court as arguments are scheduled in Ex Rel Rigsby on November 1. On tap the Court will resolve the three way split among the appellate Circuits regarding busting the case seal in False Claims Act cases. The 6th Circuit stands alone requiring auto dismissal if the case seal is broken while the rest have varying standards that would require the dismissal. Here in the 5th Circuit, cases are dismissed “only if the seal violation caused actual harm to the Government” pursuant to a balancing test. Joining what is viewed as the most conservative appellate Circuit in that approach is the most liberal in the 9th Circuit. When the time comes we’ll have a link for those that want to listen in on the oral arguments.
Breaking news this AM on twitter folks. Look for State Farm to do well in what has been a very favorable venue for them so the case is bound to die there. After all, the NFIP ratepayers are really a bunch of freeloaders and all 5,206,241 of you don’t equal up to one member of the Rust family let alone State Farm in the eyes of the Supreme Court.
Finally for those that missed it last week we have this from PBS and our own Magnum:
The Business of Disaster ~ PBS Frontline
FEMA still bites as do the insurance companies that adjust NFIP claims that take 33 cents on the dollar of the premiums doing so.
Business Of Disaster: Insurance Firms Profited $400 Million After Sandy ~ Laura Sullivan
Or you can listen to the 20 minute plus segment from NPR’s All Things Considered embedded below.
Meantime here on the coast where the false claims act suit against State Farm over dumping its winds claims on the NFIP is raging on for the 10th year, Delay, Deny Defend is still the strategy du jour as this order from Magistrate Walker earlier this month illustrates.
Then again most everyone that lived the Hurricane Katrina experience already knew that but it is nice to have some affirmation:
Whistle blowers win appeal of State Farm wind vs. water case ~ Anita Lee
As I observed on Twitter, time for Ru$ty to part with $ome corporate ca$h. Hopefully it will be put to good use cutting that pesky NFIP deficit the insurers caused by their illicit post Katrina claims handling processes.
I did hear this from both Jeff Amy and Anita Lee.
Treble damages are a bitch and then some folks. It’s all on PACER for those so interested but in the interest of time, let’s visit with Anita Lee as she has a good update up for today’s Sun Herald:
Judge: State Farm owes more than $3 million attorney fees, damages in whistle-blower case ~ Anita Lee
Both sides are appealing aspects of Judge Ozerden’s rulings in the case to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.
So far the two state senatorial delegation of Mary Landrieu, David Vitter, Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker are striking out on delaying the massive NFIP rate increases coming down the pike. Per this Bruce Alpert piece, Senator Landrieu is now seeking a one year delay in the massive rate hikes coming for those that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. A few days later, Alpert covered a letter the area’s congressional delegation sent to FEMA asking for administrative relief.
The troubled Flood Insurance program is billions of dollars in debt and the Biggert-Waters Act, designed as it was by the Insurance Industry for the sole benefit of the insurance industry guarantees that the billions of dollars in wind claims private insurers such as State Farm dumped on the NFIP after Hurricane Katrina will be repaid by the NFIP ratepayers instead of the large companies that socialized their contractual obligations under their insurance policies that dumped them on the US Treasury. Unfortunately the people of this area were sold out to the insurance industry by our own politicians, who now claim ignorance of the impacts of the bill upon which they voted Aye.
In related news Alpert checked in yesterday with a report on the FEMA pilot program on adjusting flood maps to give credit for locally built, non-accredited levees. This seems a risky proposition to me due to the fact ongoing maintenance of these systems has been historically neglected plus filling in marshlands for development is bad for the environment. What this area needs is smarter development that does not impact or alter the floodplain, not more levees.
Seems like it was just yesterday when South Mississippi’s fluffer congressman Steven Palazzo was patting himself on the back and claiming credit for fixing a disaster he helped create in the Biggert-Waters National Flood Insurance Program, which has dumped on the premium payers, billions of dollars in Wind Obligations private insurers stuck the program in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
So is everything OK now that Palazzo has “delayed” the inevitable? Heck no because you gotta have the Senate agree and Houston there is a problem! Manuel Torres has the skinny:
Vitter and Landrieu have also warned of the drastic effects of the upcoming flood insurance premium increases, and the two senators have unsuccessfully tried to attach amendments to other Senate bills to stop those rate hikes.
Some senators have objected to efforts to stop implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act, arguing that Congress passed that law, by large margins, to make the National Flood Insurance Program financially sustainable.
So how electing a sold out Ed Rust shoe shine boy working out for everyone in South Mississippi? On the bright side for those that are in decent financial condition the repo market has never been better down here in Soggy Bottom as ordinary folks are financially crushed and forced out under the weight of corporate greed and their own sold out politicians.
Maybe if he spent a little less time counting the campaign ca$h he get$ from $tate Farm executive$, the Congressman could spend more time representing the people in the 4th district.
Flood insurance measure heads to Senate ~ Da Noose
I love these snakes taking credit for throwing a scrap back to the populace after letting their insurance benefactors loot the NFIP dry, sticking the bill for the massive fraud on the little people in the process. Say what you want about Gene Taylor folks but he never put the interest of millionaire insurance executives from Illinois above the interest of his constituents.