Compel the cat from the bag of Haag’s “pig in a poke” report – a Rigsby qui tam update

A common scheme “in the Late Middle Ages, when meat was scarce but cats were not…entailed the sale of a suckling pig in a poke” but “the wriggling bag would actually contain a cat”.  A common scheme after Hurricane Katrina was word games like the Haag Report – State Farm’s “cat storm” in a bag that Haag wants us to believe was sold as a “pig in a poke”.

SLABBED isn’t buying the claim that State Farm bought “a pig in a poke” report and neither are the Rigsbys – Relators’ Expedited Motion to Compel Haag Engineering Co. to Produce Documents and Answer Interrogatories Prior to the Depositions of Tim Marshall and Paul O’Connor

Haag’s bright line objection to all discovery requests that relate in any way to events that occurred after October 4, 2005 is improper and the Relators are entitled to the Contested Discovery prior to the depositions of the Haag employees. Accordingly, for the reasons set forth below, the Relators respectfully request that the Court order Haag to produce responsive documents and answer the contested interrogatories at least seven days prior to the depositions at issue. Because Haag has noticed the depositions for April 5-6, the Relators request that the Court order Haag to produce responsive documents by March 29, 2010. However, if that time frame is not reasonable and convenient, Relators request that the Court either (1) require Haag to reschedule the depositions for at least one week after Haag produces the contested documents and answers the contested interrogatories; or (2) allow the Relators to depose the witnesses again after Relators receive the discovery information at issue.

Judge Walkers “bright light” Order , however, was issued on April Fool’s Day and responds to neither request but largely grants the Relators’ motion otherwise:

At present, this lawsuit is proceeding with respect to the McIntosh claim only. As an initial matter, the Court finds that the latest date for discoverable information is the date on which the McIntosh homeowner’s claim was closed. Although the McIntosh flood claim was closed on October 4, 2005, the alleged conspiracy that is the subject of this lawsuit continued beyond the final adjusting of the flood claim; therefore, the relevant time frame for discovery includes the time up to and including the date that the McIntosh homeowner’s policy file was closed. The Court overrules Haag’s objections that seek to limit production to events that occurred prior to October 5, 2005. To the extent that Haag has not provided this later dated material as to any of the discovery requests, the motion to compel is granted. However, the Court notes that it does not appear that Haag was involved in the investigation and adjustment of the McIntosh claim; therefore, it is unclear whether expanding the time frame will result in much additional discovery. Moreover, as demonstrated in its response, Haag has agreed to supplement certain discovery responses to account for some activity and information from October 5, 2005 and beyond.

Since Haag’s attorney Larry Canada was known first as counsel for Forensic (FAEC) in McIntosh v State Farm and the Company is having difficulty maintaining counsel to defend the Rigsby qui tam,I had planned to cover the Rigsbys’ motion in Forked…part 2 as “forked” seemed particularly relevant to an introduction of Canada.  However, “cat in the bag” works, too, but the public hissing contest he attempts as a defense for Haag doesn’t work at all.

The Rigsbys Motion to Compel Haag’s response to Interrogatory No.1 provides the opportunity to examine Canada’s strategy of “hissing” around with word games.  Continue reading “Compel the cat from the bag of Haag’s “pig in a poke” report – a Rigsby qui tam update”

Jeff Amy at the Press Register tells the story of Slabbed’s Pro Se Plaintiff, Maralou Richards: “I wanted to find out if the law is really for the people, and it’s really not”

Here at Slabbed, Nowdy and I have split the workload, with me taking press relations and her doing most of our legal profession outreach. From the time of Nowdy’s first post on Maralou Richards last February I figured this unique case would certainly cross over into the traditional media. Time would prove my instincts rights…..just that none of the reporters I emailed with the details would be the one to bring this story to the realm of the mass media. Rather it was journalist that I was previously unfamiliar, Jeff Amy at the Mobile Press Register, that saw the implications and penned a story that well encapsulates the struggles of ordinary policyholders in a legal system that is completely stacked against them. Jeff’s story appears today in both the Mobile Press Register and it’s sister newspaper the Mississippi Press. On behalf of Nowdy and the Slabbed nation we welcome Jeff to the post Katrina party:

It was just another in the rush of federal suits against Mississippi insurers last August, just before the three-year statute of limitations after Hurricane Katrina expired.

Except it wasn’t. Without a lawyer, then-77-year-old Maralou Richards of Ocean Springs filed a handwritten complaint against a unit of AIG, at the time the world’s largest insurance company.

Richards made a confidential settlement in June with Lexington Insurance Co., the court record shows.

But she’s still unhappy. “I wanted to find out if the law is really for the people, and it’s really not,” she said. Continue reading “Jeff Amy at the Press Register tells the story of Slabbed’s Pro Se Plaintiff, Maralou Richards: “I wanted to find out if the law is really for the people, and it’s really not””