State Farm wants Scruggs

State Farm attorneys plan to grill lawyer Dickie Scruggs before he heads to prison.

The insurance company has subpoenaed Scruggs and his son, attorney Zach Scruggs, for pretrial testimony July 21 in the Katrina insurance lawsuit McIntosh vs. State Farm. The McIntosh case features dueling damage reports taken from State Farm records by two insurance adjusters, Cori and Kerri Rigsby, who believe the company wanted reports altered to minimize what policyholders were owed.

State Farm has been attempting since November to take the Scruggses’ pretrial testimony, called depositions, in the McIntosh case. Spokesman Fraser Engerman would say only that the company is seeking the testimony for its defense.

“I’m not sure what State Farm is trying to get at with the deposition,” said the McIntoshes’ new attorney, William F. “Chip” Merlin. “It seems they’ve already gotten their 10 pounds of flesh from Dickie Scruggs and everyone who worked for him.”

State Farm previously sought Scruggs testimony in a lawsuit the company filed against Attorney General Jim Hood to stop his criminal investigation of the company. Scruggs was scheduled to testify in that case Feb. 4. Court records indicated that he refused to answer questions, however, invoking his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

Scruggs sues

Attorney Dickie Scruggs is suing a Washington law firm that wants $1.7 million in legal fees for defending insurance adjusters Cori and Kerri Rigsby.

The Rigsbys gave Scruggs and government investigators thousands of pages of records they downloaded from State Farm computers hoping to prove the company used expert reports to minimize what was owed for Hurricane Katrina damage. Scruggs promised to pay legal bills the Rigsbys might incur, but he says the Scruggs Katrina Group of attorneys owes the money, not him. He also wants a federal judge to find that the Scruggs Law Firm would owe no more than its share of SKG’s bill and that the law firm submitting the bills, Zuckerman Spaeder, is charging too much.

Sun Herald
7/8/8