this little piggy went to mediation…and this little piggy

This little piggy went to market mediation,
This little piggy stayed at home,
This little piggy had roast beef got taken
This little piggy had none.
And this little piggy Presentation2 aCSC went “Wee wee wee” all the way home.

Evidence was produced showing State Farm staged the mediations in advance and actively concealed material evidence from homeowners during the “mediation” process.

Bam Bam’s Bonnet was full of bees and following his buzz about the MID mediation led to a hornet’s nest of information stirred up during State Farm’s  May 1, 2007 deposition of Kerri Rigsby in McIntosh v State Farm.  Attorney Dan Webb, counsel for State Farm, asked the questions:

Q. Do you recall being involved…in putting on mock mediation?
A. We did put on mock mediation, that is correct.
Q. Do you remember you doing anything related to that?
A. Yes.
Q. What part did you play?
A. …Oh, okay. Yes. When we started mediation, they — they asked that — I guess because I had done mediation in Florida, they asked that Cori and I role play mediation for the entire mediation team. Continue reading “this little piggy went to mediation…and this little piggy”

Juriscribe tackles arbitration/mediation and exposes the sleazy underbelly of Justice Inc.

Juriscribe was kind enough to email us a guest post on the topic of forced arbitration and mediation and the brewing scandal in the for profit mediation industry that has finally attracted the attention of Congress.  When I think of mediation I think of the MID post Katrina mediation program which was effectively controlled by the insurers and was described by most of the policyholder particiapants I know as demeaning:

People get worn out,” he says. “They get tired of fighting and give up. Eventually, they take whatever they are offered.”

Hunter’s assertion is perfectly illustrated by the story of Pam Collins and Joy Panks, co-owners of the Twin Lights gift shop in Old Town Bay St. Louis.

“Our insurance company owed us $172,000,” Panks says. The last time she and Collins drove to Hattiesburg for mediation, a representative from their insurance company met them with a check for $55,000. The check was physically placed on the negotiating table, and the two women were given three chances to accept it. “The fourth time, they said they were going to pick it up,” Panks says.

“We were begging,” Collins confesses, thinking back over all the company’s previous offers. The bargaining started at $30,000, then went up to $40,000. “They said $55,000 was the last offer.”

FORCED MEDIATION AND ARBITRATION: GENUINE IDEA OR CORPORATIONS JUST HIJACKING THE PUBLIC SECTOR AGAIN

“Privatization” is a euphemism for big, for-profit corporations in the private sector capturing the right to sell and operate traditional government services from the public sector, and billing it all back to us at grossly profitable rates. Used to be corporations had to keep their greedy-assed tentacles off government services, cause that’s what we pay taxes for. The idea of Wall Street running prisons . . . unthinkable! Not so fast, Bush hadn’t run yet. When Dubya got in, for-profits went on an 8 year privatization binge, grabbing every government service they could get their French-cuffed arms around. Privatization was just one of the profit plays opened up by the Chaney-Bush-Rove triumvirate, and was of course payback for Bush pay-to-play donations, a/k/a political bribes. Today, for-profits own and/or manage federal and state prisons (CCA and Wackenhut); run and control FEMA (CSC); own and control city water systems; and are pushing to get interstate roads and highways in the bag.  The sales pitch: private business can do it cheaper and better. (Right, let’s contract out our next war to Blackwater and KBR).

What’s all this got to do with arbitration and mediation? Well, for many years an outfit called American Arbitration Association (AAA) has been greasing political palms, hoping to privatize the justice and court system and turn into a billing bonanza, like the prison thing. They got a good sales pitch too: “folks, if you’re pro-business, we gotta stop the lawyers, courts and juries, and we gotta get mandatory mediation-arbitration clauses in every kind of contract, and even where we don’t have one, we gotta get the courts to first push everybody through mediation-arbitration.” First thing the insurance companies love about this AAA tune is the melodic line “bye-bye constitutional right to jury trial.” Second, “how sweet it is” that people gotta pay twice. They’ve already paid to build the courthouse and salary the judge and staff to work there, now they gotta pay AAA’s exorbitant hourly rates for all this stuff again. That ought’a teach ’em to screw with big business! (Incidentally, in Mississippi some of these same folks are right now pushing to invent a new court, God forbid, the so-called “business court”). Continue reading “Juriscribe tackles arbitration/mediation and exposes the sleazy underbelly of Justice Inc.”

Double Trouble – Kuehn v State Farm

Imagine having to file not one, but two, lawsuits against your insurer in an attempt to resolve your Katrina damage claim!  That’s exactly the situation facing Henry and June Kuehn – a couple with by far the most interesting case in the small sample I selected at random from the approximately 200 insurance cases in the Southern District Federal Court showing some activity last week.

As we move further from the August 29, 2005 storm and more cases make their way through the courts, at times it seems only the name has changed.  The circumstances described in the Kuehn’s Complaint, however, don’t fall in one of the usual patterns.

Ironically, the central issue in Kuehn v State Farm is a policy provision intended to resolve disputes and prevent litigation – appraisal.

In a letter to Plaintiffs dated January 4, 2006, State Farm Fire, contrary to the subject policy coverage provisions and despite the fact that the insured property was damaged by wind, rain and/or wind-propelled objects, informed Plaintiffs that it would not cover the loss beyond what was already paid, which was $10,765.48. Continue reading “Double Trouble – Kuehn v State Farm”

Welcome to Slabbed Mr Moran and Our Condolences for the Way You Were Treated on the MID Farm…

Anita Lee has a way of finding the perfect example to illustrate the complex chain of events that has become the post Katrina experience on the coast. I have had far more ideas for posts than time to write them but I’ll lay my plans for this morning aside because Mr Moran’s story is too good to keep from our readers.

Before I get to the Anita’s report I’ll backtrack to set up the slabbed background for the story. It all started when Jim Hood announced he settled his State civil case against State Farm, kicking off the rather predictable shill response from the combo of partisan Jim Hood haters and insurance types. We weren’t shy about calling out the spinmeisters and their self serving revisionist history of those particular events by presenting less biased contemporary news accounts from the time.

What started as another Jim Hood cyber dog pile morphed to the ridiculous when former disgraced insurance commissioner George Dale and current commissioner Mike Chaney chimed in claiming Jim Hood deserved none of the credit for the second State Farm round of mediation and claims re evaluation saying the Mississippi Insurance Department deserved it.

The sheer stupidity of the pols claiming credit for what happened with State Farm after the storm lead us to visit the history beginning with the first MID mediation program which was deeply flawed and allowed for an officially sanctioned platform for insurers to fleece their policyholders. My remembrances from the time was the elderly were especially vulnerable to being taken advantage of by George Dale’s mediation process. Revisiting that issue also raised a legal question and Nowdy’s post and the resulting comments further illuminated why the slabbed largely viewed MID’s mediation as a sham. We continue to give George Dale and Mike Chaney at MID the credit they so publicly craved for helping a large insurance company screw the citizens of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

This leads us back to Anita Lee’s excellent account of Mr Roland Moran Continue reading “Welcome to Slabbed Mr Moran and Our Condolences for the Way You Were Treated on the MID Farm…”