Update on State Farm motion to disqualify Katrina Litigation Group

Now, if you read this brief, you may remember what all the fuss is about Brian Ford. Before we get ringside and watch the punches fly, let’s reiterate: Ford was the engineer who did the first report on the McIntosh property — oddly, he noted no water damage, even though Kerri Rigsby of later “whistleblower” fame subsequently approved a flood payment to the McIntoshes. A second report, after State Farm requested a new one from the engineering company, found both wind and water damage. And this makes both Kerri Rigsby and Brian Ford what? Right, material witnesses to the facts. That is the reference to Rigsby in the brief’s opening paragraph — a prior motion to disqualify featured uncontested and widely known evidence that Kerri Rigsby and her sister, Cori Rigsby, were paid $150,000 a year as “litigation consultants” by the Scruggs Katrina Group, an arrangement that came to an end only after Scruggs withdrew from the group (I do not know if Scruggs himself is still paying the two, but the Katrina Litigation Group no longer is). Judge Senter, and later the Fifth Circuit, said State Farm had waited too long to bring that first motion to disqualify, and therefore waived its arguments. So the new motion is founded, to the extent possible, on newly discovered facts.

Even those who are not lawyers can see the problems with paying witnesses big wads of cash — either looks like or is a form of bribery or witness tampering. And when you are peddling these same folks to federal and state grand juries, well, you may have had a good ride, but the credibility of that grand jury process is entirely and irrevocably shot down in flames, like Snoopy vs. the Red Baron (I know — in this song neither the Red Baron nor Snoopy is shot down, but if you follow this epic struggle you know what I mean).

Insurance Coverage Blog
2/19/8