State Farm proves dispute of material fact for the Rigsbys but slabs competence of MSU faculty

Do the Rigsbys send a thank you note? I doubt Mississippi State University will. After being blown away (no pun intended) by the motions State Farm filed in the Rigsby qui tam, I had to double check the meaning of “material fact” but found no change – to preclude summary judgment, the dispute about a material fact must also be “genuine” such that a reasonable jury could find in favor of the non-moving party.

On the surface, State Farm’s motions to exclude all testimony of every expert witness for the Rigsbys looked like the Farm’s usual “gut the case” strategy – not even MSU’s Sinno and Fitzpatrick are good enough for the Farm.

The Rigsbys proffer the expert testimony of Dr. Sinno, an engineer, in a misguided attempt to create a genuine question of material fact in response to State Farm’s dispositive motions. Yet Dr. Sinno’s opinion is incapable of doing so because it is irrelevant, inadmissible, and immaterial. “Rule 56 states that a court may consider only admissible evidence in ruling on a summary judgment motion…Thus, to screen out incompetent summary judgment evidence, the Court must determine the admissibility of the expert’s opinion “before reaching the question whether a fact issue exists.

The Rigsbys proffer the expert testimony of Dr. Fitzpatrick, a meteorologist, in a misguided attempt to create a genuine question of material fact in response to State Farm’s dispositive motions. Yet Dr. Fitzpatrick’s opinion is incapable of doing so because it is irrelevant, inadmissible, and immaterial…Thus, to screen out incompetent summary judgment evidence, the Court must determine the admissibility of the expert’s opinion “before reaching the question whether a fact issue exists.

Slabbed
5/8/9