Slabbed brought to my attention that U.S. District Judge Senter was retiring in Federal Judge L.T. Senter is Retiring. Ex Rel Rigsby to be Transfered to Another Judge. An unsung hero in the Katrina litigation, Sun-Herald investigative reporter Anita Lee, broke the story of Judge Senter’s retirement in U.S. District Judge Retiring and provided a brief biography of his legal career:

Senter, a University of Mississippi Law School graduate, served as a circuit judge before he was appointed to the federal bench by President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

He worked from 1980 to 1982 as a federal judge in Mississippi’s Northern District, then as the district’s chief judge from 1982 to 1998. He took senior status in 1998, and began traveling to the Coast in 2000 to help out with the caseload.

He moved to the Coast in 2002. After Katrina hit, he agreed to take on the insurance cases with the assistance of U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker. Other judges had to recuse themselves from the cases because their homes suffered hurricane damage.


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Outcome oriented investigations plague the insurance adjustment process. Outcome oriented techniques arise in number of forms, from limiting the information sought, writing reports with no more than what is called upon, not informing the policyholder of other areas of possible damage, de-selecting those that write reports which provide too much information and lead to greater coverage, and simply trying to form opinions of loss or damage that are not truthful. Insurance adjusters often try to convince me that they do not retain outcome oriented investigators who look for ways to limit their customers’ recoveries, it is amazing to me how much additional loss is usually found with a little more honest work.


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Policyholders with flood and all risk policies usually do not have as many problems collecting benefits following a hurricane where wind and flood damaged a structure. Those with only one policy are not so fortunate. When the combination of payments from both policies is less than the cost to repair or when delays in payments occur, numerous issues arise.

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Slabbed has been dogged regarding its reporting on the Mississippi qui tam litigation involving State Farm. A recent post, Rigsbys file “Motion to Reconsider Scope of Proceedings in Light of Evidence Adduced in Discovery” – ask Court for additional time to conduct Discovery into “the Scheme,” provides some insight regarding the flood adjustment techniques required by National Flood versus how flood adjusters in the field actually do their job.


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Virtue is to be admired and praised, even in one’s enemies
–Niccoló Machiavelli,
The Discourses

Slabbed is a blog that grates on those in the insurance industry, its legal counsel and proponents. My impression is that because those from the insurance industry do not like the criticism, positions and strong rhetoric, they stop reading Slabbed and read only those that criticize policyholder advocates, policyholders, and others who pander to the insurance industry. Nobody likes to be criticized or cast in the role of the villain. That is human nature. Yet, I agree with comedian Chris Rock, who stated that "anyone who makes up their mind before hearing the issue is a … fool."


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Mississippi Representative Gene Taylor successfully placed language into House Bill H.R. 1264—“the Multiple Peril Insurance Act”— which would require “Write Your Own” insurers participating in the National Flood Program to remove anti-concurrent causation language from their all risk insurance policies. Taylor’s house was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina. Many of his neighbors’ insurance claims were denied based on the continuing wind versus flood insurance coverage controversy which I noted recently in Texas Windstorm Insurer Settles 2,400 Hurricane Ike Slab Claims.

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The Gulf Coast has hot and calm days that are merciless for those on the water. I recall my teenage years in Mississippi, stripping to briefs and jumping off a sailboat that was going nowhere fast on a calm morning race in Mobile Bay. I was thinking about that while attending a deposition of Chris McIntosh in Gulfport yesterday and after reading emails from marine engineers who suggest that it will take several months, rather than weeks, for the worst of the oil spill onslaught to reach Florida.


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As you read this post, consider these life lessons:

You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes, well,
You just might find you get what you need

and

DON QUIXOTE
Hand over that golden helmet!

BARBER
But this is a shaving basin!

DON QUIXOTE
Shaving basin! Know thou not what this really is?
The Golden Helmet of Mambrino!
When worn by one of noble heart, it renders
him invulnerable to all wounds!
(to the Barber whacking the barrel with his sword)
Hand it over!

Thou Golden Helmet of Mambrino,
With so illustrious a past,
Too long hast thou been lost to glory,
Th’art rediscovered now at last!
Golden Helmet of Mambrino
There can be no hat like thee!
Thou and I now, ere I die now,
Will make golden history!

BARBER
(aside to Sancho)
I can hear the cuckoo singing
In the cuckooberry tree…


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