The ABA Journal is reporting on Kodrin

And staff writer Martha Neil once again linked us. We’re Martha positive here at slabbed, here is the story:

An award of punitive damages and attorney fees in a bad-faith case against an insurance company has been overturned by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Co. was mistaken when it denied coverage for wind-based damage from Hurricane Katrina, wrongly attributing the destruction of a home to uncovered water damage. But the plaintiff homeowners, Michael and Judy Kodrin, didn’t establish that the insurer acted without a good-faith basis in denying coverage. Hence, although they are still entitled to an earlier $200,000 jury award for the wind damage to their home, they will no longer get additional punitive damages and an award of attorney fees for bad faith under the 5th Circuit decision, the Associated Press explains. Continue reading “The ABA Journal is reporting on Kodrin”

The Fifth Circuit Gets One Right: Dickerson v Lexington

After butchering the concept of the Anti Concurrent Clause in Leonard v Nationwide and the concept of punis in Broussard v State Farm, the third time was the charm with the Fifth Circuit in Dickerson v Lexington. A big slabbed congratulations to Soren Gisleson and the Dickerson family. I wonder if AIG will be paying this judgement out of the TARP fund LOL. Here is a link to the decision by the Fifth Cirucit.

This blurb sums up why all a good lawyer needs to litigate these cases is some wind damage, a good expert and in the case of the Farm the wind water protocol:

Dickerson’s bad faith claim hinges on the undisputed timing of Lexington’s first inspection and payment. Dickerson had reported the damage to the insured property in mid-September of 2005, and Lexington had sent an adjuster to inspect the damage on October 1, a month after Katrina. A report based on this inspection was sent to Lexington no later than November, yet no payment was made. Another report was sent to Lexington (apparently by the same claims adjuster) on February 4, 2006. Although Lexington representatives took the position that the second report corrected a “mistake” in the November report, we have found no explanation in the record for why Dickerson could not have been compensated in the interim. Indeed, Lexington’s attorney stated at trial that he had no explanation for the five-month delay. Continue reading “The Fifth Circuit Gets One Right: Dickerson v Lexington”

Galveston: "Nothing to come here for right now"

This picture conveys some of the destruction in the Galveston Texas area from Hurricane Ike.  While Governor Perry calls those who stayed “knuckleheads” I hope he also explores how the knuckleheads in Texas government failed to reach those who called for help in evacuating in advance of Ike’s arrival such as 79 year old Margaret Winters.

Today, the Houston Chronicle contains a grim reminder of the price for staying on a Barrier Island in the face of a mere Cat 2 storm:

Through dark and filthy water, the tangible last remnant of Hurricane Ike, search-and-rescue teams continued combing Galveston Island and other coastal communities hit hardest by an overwhelming storm surge. The hope was for more survivors — a hope rewarded more than once Monday. The fear was that grimmer discoveries awaited. Continue reading “Galveston: "Nothing to come here for right now"”

Galveston: “Nothing to come here for right now”

This picture conveys some of the destruction in the Galveston Texas area from Hurricane Ike.  While Governor Perry calls those who stayed “knuckleheads” I hope he also explores how the knuckleheads in Texas government failed to reach those who called for help in evacuating in advance of Ike’s arrival such as 79 year old Margaret Winters.

Today, the Houston Chronicle contains a grim reminder of the price for staying on a Barrier Island in the face of a mere Cat 2 storm:

Through dark and filthy water, the tangible last remnant of Hurricane Ike, search-and-rescue teams continued combing Galveston Island and other coastal communities hit hardest by an overwhelming storm surge. The hope was for more survivors — a hope rewarded more than once Monday. The fear was that grimmer discoveries awaited. Continue reading “Galveston: “Nothing to come here for right now””

Fallout from Leonard and Tuepker Continues in an Unlikely Place

As the months here on Slabbed slip away I am sometimes reminded of Yogi Berra and his famous quote, “It’s like déjà vu all over again”. For instance Nowdy’s excellent post this morning on Perrien in Louisiana was the product of internal discussion last night, a case I wrote and evidently promptly forgot about.  Luckily one of us had a memory last night.

There is a case ongoing in the Western District of Louisiana that I happened to remember involving the Cameron Parish School Board. In my younger days I worked offshore summers to pay for college and I suspect the tiny town of Cameron stuck with me because of the hole in the wall place off the main road that made the best boudin bar none. In that case against State Farm, the Cameron Parish School Board sued because they were underinsured for flood. That case was thrown out, I believe correctly because it is the insured responsibility to fully insure their assets.

The thing I thought made the case oddball was Cameron Parish buying commerical flood insurance from State Farm. I was later emailed that State Farm does sell commerical flood insurance but does not sell excess flood which did cause problems later on with underinsured claims. What the slabbed need to know is you’ll still need an independent agent if you need more coverage than the NFIP limits and don’t depend on your State Farm agent to tell you that, their economic self interest dictates the last thing they want is another agent selling you insurance, especially if you are wealthy enough to own a piece of property that would require excess flood coverage.

The new case involving the Cameron Parish School Board is very interesting for another reason, the federal district court judge cited Leonard and Tuepker in a ruling where he reversed himself. Sound straightforward? Not really and Insurance Law Hawaii tells us why:

Although it had previously found a policy’s anti-concurrent causation clause to be ambiguous, a Louisiana federal district court reversed itself in Cameron Parish School Bd. v. RSUI Indemn. Co., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 64902 (W.D. La. Aug. 25, 2008). Continue reading “Fallout from Leonard and Tuepker Continues in an Unlikely Place”

Catching Up: Anita Lee Reports on Former SKG Clients

Nowdy has been doing PACER searches for a couple of weeks now and her findings are born out in Anita Lee’s report from the Saturday Sun Herald. Insurance industry bloggers predicting the demise of these cases were a wee bit premature with their prognostications.

…..The Scruggs Katrina Group, reincarnated as the Katrina Litigation Group, was disqualified in April from representing policyholders in 180 lawsuits SKG filed against State Farm. Judge L.T. Senter Jr. ruled then the member law firms knew or should have known Scruggs unethically paid two former insurance adjusters who were potential witnesses in some of the cases.

The Texas law firm Provost Humphrey, recommended by SKG lead attorney Don Barrett, wound up with 62 percent of the 112 cases in which policyholders retained new attorneys, with Coast attorneys taking on the remainder. Continue reading “Catching Up: Anita Lee Reports on Former SKG Clients”

Hurricane Charley – Case in point for wind damage

Grab some popcorn and watch what Charley does to the roof in this video – another anon reader thought readers would be interested in seeing how wind starts weakening a building to the point it becomes a loss whether it’s washed away or not. Thanks to both of you anons for thinking of us today. btw Charley video is from Port Charlotte, FL – August 13, 2004.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDNUSJ5bXjA]

Hurricane Katrina wind blows motel wall out UPDATED

UPDATE: Point here is this video is from Kenner, LA – not the Coast.  Takes a pretty good wind to blow out a wall; but anon reader said State Farm experts were claiming Category 1 winds in this area…Sorry, I’m new to video posting, anon, and I missed the point.  Got it now…youtube post from anon reader to other Slabbed readers. Thanks.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMcr0YURe-Q]

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 Reader Sent Us This….

The Mississippi State Farm Catastrophe Induction CAT Manual. (4 MB download) Chip Merlin mentioned this document once on his blog citing it as one of the documents a good wind water attorney litigating with the Good Neighbor must have in his repertoire. My reader says it has not yet seen the light of day in litigation here, perhaps because State Farm settled out with Merlin’s clients some time back. It has turned up elsewhere though.

So I’ll post it first for use as a slabbed reference material and see what kind of discussion it generates.

sop