Florida insurance wars
I’ve likened Florida lawmakers and regulators to Wile E. Coyote — they persistently pursue failed strategies. Every time that Acme rocket backpack blows up or runs them headlong into a cliff, they strap on another. They also are somewhat like a guy who is denied a promotion and then comes home and beats the stuffing out of his dog. Everything about the state’s insurance mess is someone else’s fault — they never pause to consider whether the central-command regulatory regime they love might be making things worse, or be one of the actual causes of the problem. Instead, they sound like some of the black helicopter conspiracy theorists, looking for evil everywhere. And when you are emotionally invested in finding wrongdoing, you keep at it, no matter how many times that rocket explodes and singes your fur.
While Scruggs was imploding, I didn’t have as much time as I’d like to follow this saga. So I’ll offer a couple blog posts and news articles here to start back on track. You may remember that Florida regulators barred Allstate from selling certain new policies in the state until they turned over documents regulators think will show collusion or defiance of the state’s Wishful Thinking Law — the Florida insurance "reform" package passed last year that, in contravention of all reality about the risk of insuring property in Florida, was supposed to set things right and make insurance affordable.
Louisiana insurance developments
Citizens Property, the state-run property insurer of last resort, which acquired a reputation for colossal incompetence, is back in the news.
The state has also, in place of the abolished ratings board, created a new consumer advocate office.
Dickie Scruggs’ name has now been turned into a buzz phrase, a symbol, shorthand for excesses that discredit his cause, although it’s disputed by some whether Scruggs had any cause other than Scruggs, human beings are complex and merely because one has other, undisclosed aims does not mean the goals one publicly professes are not sincere. The latest example of how Scruggs’ place in the rogue’s gallery du jour is secured, I offer this editorial from the Wall Street Journal. An excerpt:
March has been a rough month for the tort bar, and not only because two of its standard-bearers — Dickie Scruggs and Mel Weiss — have both copped to felonies. A judge in California has put a damper on the efforts of plaintiffs lawyers to drum up lawsuits abroad and have them tried in the U.S.
It’s not even about Scruggs, but these days, all you need to do to make your point is mention his name. I’ll prove it. Scruggs! See what I mean?
In other Scruggs-related news, Hinds County Judge Bobby DeLaughter says he will not fight a temporary suspension while his conduct is probed in the Wilson fee dispute case involving Scruggs, according to this story by John O’Brien of Legal Newsline.