November 13, 2007
The length the insurance companies will go and use the judiciary system to prevent ordinary citizens to find out their internal (and evidently anti-consumer) policies–policies that may become part of investigation for alleged malfeasance.
A corporation’s worst nightmare, famed plaintiffs lawyer Richard “Dickie” Scruggs has unflinchingly taken on asbestos companies, Big Tobacco and scads of insurance companies in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.But the 61-year-old Mississippi lawyer may have finally met his match in a controversial and outspoken Alabama federal judge.
U.S. District Judge William M. Acker Jr. has held Scruggs in criminal contempt for failing to abide by a court order to return allegedly purloined documents he received from two former employees of a State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. contractor to the insurance company.
Scruggs — who is representing hundreds of Hurricane Katrina victims in lawsuits against insurance companies — instead sent the documents to Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood, who has been investigating the insurance companies for alleged malfeasance.
After U.S. Attorney Alice Martin in Birmingham, Ala., refused to bring charges against Scruggs, Acker took the highly unusual step of appointing three private special prosecutors to bring charges against Scruggs.
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