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)”
Nowdy has some killer stuff in the pipeline and if I can get a spare second I’ll be jumping in with a post on O’Keefe v State Farm. Seems as if Lecky is fixing to get an invite and the Farm wants to keep her testimony a secret. Here is a hint for our mentally challenged Magistrate Judge Robert Walker. All the insurers used McKinsey to develop their bad faith claims handling procedures. The systematic commission of the tort of Insurance Bad Faith is not a trade secret.
So while our readers wait on content here on Slabbed, I highly recommend surfing the links over on the Ladder. We’re blessed to have such good cyber friends. And Lecky, this Youtube vid is for you boubie: Continue reading “And a Happy Hump day to you too Editilla”
And of course we’ll do our level best to be there when he comes to cover his visit for the Slabbed nation. We look forward to the President’s visit as we welcome him to the Gulf Coast.
Here is the AP report via the Sun Herald and here is the Whitehouse PR.
The high water level or storm surge of a hurricane and specifically Hurricane Katrina is generally misunderstood by the general public. Most people think that the storm surge is a virtual wall of sea water that suddenly comes ashore as the hurricane makes landfall.
While this may be true to some extent at the actual center of the eyewall of a hurricane as it makes landfall, it is not true for the storm surge or high water away from the center of the storm. Rather, the rising of the storm surge or high water is a gradual occurrence as you get further from the center -of the storm, even in the most intense winds of the northeast quadrant of the hurricane.
I have interviewed two eyewitnesses to the Hurricane Katrina high water occurrence, and they each tell very similar accounts. A third eye witness on lovers lane in Ocean Springs reportedly tells a similar account. The witnesses state that the water rose gradually, first in the edge of their yards, then by progression up to the steps of their house and finally up on the sides of the house to the highest water level.
The witnesses state that the high water stayed at the highest level for a short period of about 30 minutes and then receded in the same gradual manner as the water rose. The witnesses who gave these accounts were located in Pascagoula near the water; at D’Iberville on the Back Bay of Biloxi; and on the waterside of Lovers Lane in Ocean Springs. (emphasis added)
With Ted Biddy’s February 9, 2006 forensic analysis of the loss documenting wind speed and water level across the Coast , it is difficult to believe Nationwide let the Drake’s claim for ALE reach the point of litigation. The State’s windpool and the Federal flood program picked up the tab for the slab; and, all that was left for Nationwide to pay was approximately 1/10th of the total loss.
Nonetheless, four years after Katrina left the Drake’s with a slab, Nationwide is Continue reading “Drake v Nationwide goes another emotionally distressing round”
Special agents need lovin’ too. Bruce Alpert at the Times Picayune has the story:
As the corruption case against former Rep. William Jefferson was about to go to trial in June, prosecutors learned from their star witness that she had had a sexual relationship with the undercover FBI agent who drove her to all the meetings where she secretly taped and delivered cash to the New Orleans Democrat
But according to court documents unsealed last week, the FBI and its Office of Professional Responsibility knew at least as far back as last December that the agent, John Guandolo, “had had an intimate relationship with a confidential source that he thought could damage an investigation.” But they never passed that information to the U.S. attorney’s office prosecuting Jefferson or the lead FBI agent in the investigation.
The failure to provide the court and the prosecutors with such explosive information raises questions about FBI conduct, even as the revelation about Guandolo’s relationship with Lori Mody, the northern Virginia businesswoman at the center of the Jefferson probe, adds a new layer of intrigue to the case.
It also shows how the actions of a single agent could have wrecked the long and meticulous Justice Department pursuit of Jefferson. Mody did not testify at the trial, but the tapes she secretly recorded were allowed to be played for the jury and were a key to the conviction of the nine-term congressman on 11 of 16 corruption charges. Continue reading “Ummm Ashton, we finally found out where the “[email protected] D%&m FBI” has been….”
After Katrina the euphoria of survival eventually gave way to the (at times) overwhelming task of recovery; from that of my family and my business to helping my clients navigate the maze of important financial decisions that were part and parcel of the process. Though we were able to finally call the task “done” by mid 2007 it is the spring of 2006 that I remember most because there were a few occasions I almost broke under the stress. It is from that perspective that I noted and was immediately attracted to a story in today’s Times Picayune above Reverend Jerry Kramer who evidently put the recovery of the entire Broadmoor neighborhood on his back. The dues he paid for doing that was his own health. Bruce Nolan filed the story:
The Rev. Jerry Kramer, a hyper-energetic Episcopal priest who transformed a small neighborhood church into a powerhouse that helped drive the post-Katrina recovery of the entire Broadmoor neighborhood, stunned his parishioners last week with news that, sick and exhausted, he has resigned.
In an accompanying e-mail message, Kramer said that if he recovers after several months on a temporary medical disability, he hopes next year to return to missionary work in Tanzania with his wife and two children.
“But I have to get well to do that, ” he said last week. “I need some rest. I absolutely need some rest.
“I haven’t been able to put in a full day (of work) in over a year.”
In the four years since Katrina, Kramer developed a reputation as a innovative priest who, from the moment he paddled up to his flooded church on South Claiborne Avenue, merged its recovery with the recovery of the surrounding neighborhood.
“I think before he arrived, we were trying to figure out what our mission was, ” said Martha McKnight, the head of the vestry at Kramer’s Free Church of the Annunciation.
“Boy, did Katrina take care of that.” Continue reading “The Times Picayune profiles a Katrina hero and the storm’s latest casualty”
The Rigsbys’ qui tam claims are now set for trial. State Farm’s favorite strong arm tactic – a slap suit aimed back at the relators as a counterclaim – has been mooted by severance, with all discovery stayed. In a word, the Rigsbys’ qui tam case is now early stage radioactive. For those of you who care to study the pathology of corporate monopolies, now is the time to tune in, lock your dial and follow State Farm’s every move.
You’ll likely see State Farm agents turn up in hometown newspaper photos, handing a giant copy of State Farm’s check to the fire chief, buying the police department some pricey crime fighting device, or donating education funds to the local school board. As trial approaches, the number and frequency of “Good Neighbor” TV ads in the broadcast markets of the jury venire will double. Typically, these ads falsely portray State Farm as a deeply caring protector of America’s families. You’ll see lots of minority face time, puppy dogs, tearful then happy children and so on. Not much different than the “family values” theme some of our best pimp politicians like to market. That’s what you will see; what’s more important is what you won’t see.
You won’t see the “Shred-it” trucks pulling up to State Farm’s and Renfroe’s lawyers’ offices. (They needn’t go to State Farm’s regional or headquarter offices, they have their own shredders and corporate employee operators. In fact, State Farm shredded copies of altered engineering reports and corresponding invoices right there in their temporary Katrina claims office off Pops Ferry Road). Also, you won’t see State Farm’s creepy data managers systematically scrubbing data off the head office’s mainframes and hundreds of work stations. You won’t see this same thing happening behind the walls of State Farm’s and Renfroe’s lawyer’s offices either, or even within the offices of the federal court in Birmingham. You won’t see crooked law clerks scurrying to isolate and delete phone logs or emails proving hundreds of unauthorized ex parte contacts with State Farm’s and Renfroe’s case lawyers. You won’t see the destruction of records detailing communications with FEMA’s David Maurstad or James Shortly, or with FEMA’s shadow manager, Computer Science Corporation (“CSC”), all to get the proof of loss requirements under the flood program waived, and in place within 48 hours of Katrina. Continue reading “A Corporate Predator”
This is not the first story Anita has authored on this topic and I have a feeling it won’t be the last. Steve and I have had several conversations about the coast’s housing conundrum of having unoccupied rental units with many more in the pipeline while those on the bottom rung still do without. So while the combatants bicker and parse words I’ll add the view at Slabbed is we need no additional “tax credit” apartments that low income folks can’t afford. Without further commentary on my part here are the links to today’s story excerpted below and the related editorial.
Too many homes and apartments are on the market in South Mississippi, but residents least able to afford them are still waiting for permanent housing more than four years after Hurricane Katrina.
“We clearly, at this point, have more units for sale and for rent than we need,” Gov. Haley Barbour’s Coast Housing Director, Gerald Blessey, told the Sun Herald. “We have enough in the pipeline between now and 2011 to meet the remaining needs. But many of those units are vacant because they are not at rates or prices people can afford.” Continue reading “Anita Lee writes about housing on the coast: A surplus of units and unmet needs”