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.
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”
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 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.
By this time last year the unraveling of the Mississippi DMR had begun as we rapidly approach the one year anniversary of several important events. I’m not gonna rehash them today but I need to hook up with one contributor in order to finalize a comprehensive post on the topic that will appear soon.
Moving right along I received a reader email worried Slabbed has been subpoenaed because of our DMR coverage. At the risk of sounding like a broken record from last January the answer is no and I do not expect to receive any. That said I have heard from multiple sources the Auditor’s office investigators made sure certain peeps knew they took a very dim view on anyone involved in the scandal speaking with Slabbed. That I submit, is a major compliment on the voodoo we do here on the Slabb.
In the bad news department the long promised and not delivered “Part 2” of my exploration of Aaron Broussard’s relationship with the media and First Bank and Trust ain’t happening. Instead what I intend to do is break the pdf files down into smaller size files and post the entire Broussard files project for everyone to see in all its glory. I’d look for that beginning tomorrow.
Finally, it is time we tackled some old topics anew in the National Flood Insurance Program, Wind Claims Dumping and certain insurance commishes that clearly need a seeing eye dog. In short State Farm is headed back to the Slabb for further examination.
So yesterday all the local politicos that voted to drastically raise your flood insurance rates took turns grandstanding on twitter pretending to represent the people that elected them. Senator Mary Landrieu was particularly disgusting IMHO
Fact is insurance companies dumped their wind coverage obligations on the NFIP and our elected leaders opted to stick the bill for such on the little people. Now that reality is sinking in every last one of them would rather forget their original votes. Slabbed has not. Did Mary Landrieu vote to drastically raise your flood insurance rates? You betcha she did. They all did in fact.
State Farm began their defense in the Rigsby whistleblower lawsuit involving allegations they and other insurers defrauded the National Flood Insurance Program after Hurricane Katrina early this week and I immediately noticed a foul odor that seemed to emanate from the Federal Courthouse in Gulfport when former NFIP Director Dave Maurstad took the stand for State Farm. To understand Maurstad and the concept of the revolving door, you gotta understand these guys circle from private sector insurance related jobs to government regulatory positions and back each time collecting more career enhancing favors. With this bunch it is always about the next job so the insurance industry could not have had a better water boy in place when Katrina hit than Dave Maurstad.
But once upon a time ol’ Dave was not so keen to testify about the NFIP handling of Hurricane Katrina claims no siree. In Bolden v FEMA for instance Dave had to be compelled to show up at the Federal Courthouse to testify about the expedited claims process he and Lecky King came up with after Katrina. Worth noting is rather than let Maurstad testify FEMA opted to settle Bolden immediately. The bottom line is most people I listen to think Maurstad is a self serving hack under whose watch the NFIP sank into technical insolvency.
But it got deeper yesterday folks as State Farm retiree Lecky King took the stand with the sound of miniature violins playing in the background as Anita Lee explains in her latest dispatch from the Courthouse (I hope McClatchy sent a gas mask with her and is considering hazardous duty pay):
Career almost destroyed
Lecky King, on the other hand, said State Farm attorneys prepared her for her testimony. She spent her last few years at the company working on policyholder lawsuits filed after Katrina and on the case against her, which at one time was part of a criminal investigation that never resulted in charges.
With due respect to Anita Lee I’ll let my former partner in blog go first:
Checked PACER to see if anything came up as the Rigsby’s rested their case…Sure nuf’ SF filed a motion for judgment as a matter of law under Rule 50 – just a docket entry…said the Court heard arguments and took the matter under advisement…did not say what the law was…
(1) In General. If a party has been fully heard on an issue during a jury trial and the court finds that a reasonable jury would not have a legally sufficient evidentiary basis to find for the party on that issue, the court may:
(A) resolve the issue against the party; and
(B) grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law against the party on a claim or defense that, under the controlling law, can be maintained or defeated only with a favorable finding on that issue.
(2) Motion. A motion for judgment as a matter of law may be made at any time before the case is submitted to the jury. The motion must specify the judgment sought and the law and facts that entitle the movant to the judgment.
I do not see Judge Ozerden tossing this suit mid trial and this rule 50 motion seems like a standard defense tactic. Turns out Cori Rigsby did not take the stand yesterday so the Plaintiffs rested their case and State Farm took the floor with a Woody:
Less satisfied with her insurance coverage is homeowner Jeanna Weber, a 25-year resident of Fortescue.Weber says she’s frustrated, tired of calling her insurance company without any response. She has been calling since October, she said, but to no avail.