The jewel of the crumbling Scruggs Katrina Empire, the False Claims Act case Ex rel. Rigsby, is being attacked by State Farm, which says the case should be dismissed. Here’s the memorandum in support of the motion to dismiss, which basically calls the Rigsby sisters parasitic late-comers to already public allegations who are attempting to cash in without having ever to ante up with anything real. It’s been crazy busy for me, but I had to stop and read the memo — which, you know, for a memorandum about jurisdiction was a pretty good page-turner.
I’ll follow up when I can and link to more docs, but in the meantime, here’s one more thing to read, the memo in support of State Farm’s summary judgment motion. This document in essence says the Rigsbys have no claim for retaliatory discharge because they were engaged in illegal espionage — you could call it Scruggspionage for short — and you can get fired for doing illegal stuff.
UPDATE: This is the one I was waiting to see, just got filed on PACER — a memorandum in support of State Farm’s motion to disqualify the Trailer Lawyers — Chip Robertson (former state supreme court justice), Todd Graves (former U.S. Attorney) and others — who, it looks like to me, met in that trailer down on the beach on Sen. Lott’s property while the Rigsby sisters accessed the State Farm claims documents. They are the lawyers who represent the Rigsby sisters in the False Claims Act case.
I have tried to picture in my mind what was going on there: was everyone huddled around looking at claims files on a laptop, gazing with wide open eyes at the wonder of it all? Was everyone present at once? Were some people off in a corner watching reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies, drinking a Pepsi and paging through Oprah’s latest magazine? Did anyone say, "Hey, wait a minute here, can I say something? This is nuts what we’re doing." Somehow this Trailer Summit sticks in my mind as a metaphor for the ridiculousness into which this thing devolved. Or maybe it is less that this thing devolved, and more that it was always a mess, it’s just more apparent to us now.
SECOND UPDATE: Here’s the State Farm press release. These two paragraphs are interesting:
State Farm’s motion for summary judgment and counterclaim outlines actions undertaken by Cori and Kerri Rigsby and others to unlawfully obtain confidential policyholder information from State Farm to advance their own personal and financial goals and agendas.
No later than February 2006, and maybe as early as October 2005, the Rigsbys, together with attorneys Dickie Scruggs and others, schemed to abuse and exploit their access to State Farm’s confidential computer systems and policyholder records. State Farm has filed a counterclaim against the Rigsbys seeking damages for their admitted, unauthorized, theft of information from State Farm, in violation of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
I think it will come out, probably not too far in the future, that they met in 2005. I don’t know if it was as early as October, but maybe it was.