This is at least the third time State Farm has violated this Court’s discovery orders. It is apparent that neither State Farm nor its counsel feel any compunction concerning such violations.
Is there any misconduct by State Farm that will result in sanctions? That seems to be the question State Farm is asking this Court to answer. This Plaintiff and others who rely on the Court’s even-handed enforcement of its orders seek an answer as well.
The crowd that watched Seabiscuit race War Admiral was estimated at 40,000 – just slightly larger than the number of State Farm policyholders on the coast with claims subject to MID mediation:
The Pimlico Race Course, from the grandstands to the infield, was jammed solid with fans. Trains were run from all over the country to bring fans to the race, and the estimated 40,000 at the track were joined by some 40 million listening on the radio.
Comparable numbers who rely on the Court’s even-handed enforcement of its orders are watching this race for justice – and Bossier’s counsel, Coast attorney Judy Guice, says forget the roses; hang sanctions on State Farm!
Details are in Bossier’s Motion for Sanctions Under Rule 37(b) for Failure to Comply with Court Order of September 3, 2009, filed today in Katrina’s federal district court:
On August 28, 2009, Senior Judge L. T. Senter, Jr. entered his Order with regard to Plaintiff’s  Application for Review stating as follows:
“This Court will not go so far as to adopt ½ mile as an absolute distance entitling Plaintiff to information related to other claims. However, the Magistrate Judge’s order provides no basis for accepting Defendant’s unilateral decision to limit Plaintiff to the 1/10 mile figure, and it should not matter how many claims fall within the latter distance if the former may also be “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.” Therefore, this matter is referred to the Magistrate Judge to revisit Plaintiff’s interrogatories 1 and 21, and requests for production 3 and 7.”
On September 3, 2009, Magistrate Walker conducted a telephone hearing on said discovery matters. An Agreed Order was entered on September 3, 2009, ordering Defendant to provide neighboring claims files graphically demonstrated by the map attached as Exhibit A to said order. The order also stated “that these other claim files shall be produced within 14 days from
September 3, 2009.”
The Court ordered documents were to be produced by State Farm by September 17, 2009. Having received no documents or communication from State Farm regarding the neighboring claims files, undersigned counsel’s office sent an email to counsel for State Farm on September 18 asking when the documents would be provided. (Exhibit A) State Farm’s counsel advised that the documents would be sent to Plaintiff on Monday or Tuesday.
There has been no response to Plaintiff’s email and the neighboring claims files have not been provided to date. The proposed pre-trial order in this matter is due to the Court on October 7 and trial is scheduled for November 2, 2009.
State Farm’s dog-ate-my-homework excuse dumps Mullins into the role of a stable boy shoveling s#%& and leaves Judge Walker to see if he can saddle this mule. Meanwhile:
Head-to-head races favor fast starters, and War Admiral’s speed from the gate was the stuff of legend. Seabiscuit, on the other hand, was a pace stalker, skilled at holding with the pack before destroying the field with late acceleration.
War Admiral won once more before the end of the season… Seabiscuit was named Horse of the Year….
In addition to default judgment and contempt citation, Plaintiff should be awarded attorney’s fees and expenses for the extreme effort required during the discovery process.