Scruggs already was scheduled to be questioned under oath Monday by State Farm in a contentious Katrina insurance case, McIntosh v. State Farm.
Scruggs was lead attorney in McIntosh, and represented hundreds of other policyholders, before his personal legal travails began. He will serve five years in federal prison, beginning Aug. 4, for conspiring to bribe a state court judge in an earlier legal-fee dispute, Jones v. Scruggs. That case is still pending in north Mississippi.
Scruggs was notified Zuckerman was about to sue him for contract damages, the firm says, so he sued first. In a countercomplaint, Zuckerman seeks $1.4 million in unpaid fees and expenses for representing Ocean Springs sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby. Zuckerman said that does not count $400,000 already paid by two other firms in the Scruggs Katrina Group, an alliance of law firms that represented the policyholders.
Records Zuckerman produced indicate Scruggs promised on SKG’s behalf to pay any legal bills the Rigsbys might incur for taking documents from State Farm and going public with their story about insurance-claims abuses after Katrina. Scruggs had hoped SKG could use the Rigsbys’ testimony and documents in cases against State Farm.
Shortly after they went public, the Rigsbys were sued by their former employer, independent adjusting firm E.A. Renfroe.