30 January 2008
Rimkus Consulting Group Vindicated as Mississippi Judge Throws Out Complaint; Cites Insufficient Evidence
On Wednesday, January 23, 2008 a Federal District Judge in Mississippi dismissed complaints against Rimkus Consulting Group because the plaintiffs failed to present sufficient evidence. The suit by Dr. David and Marilynn Aiken included claims against their homeowner’s insurance carrier USAA, and alleged that USAA and Rimkus conspired to defraud them of their insurance benefits following Hurricane Katrina. The Aikens also named a Rimkus professional engineer as a defendant, and all claims against the engineer were likewise dismissed.
The directed verdict dismissal came after seven full days of trial and testimony that included the Aikens, their engineering experts, a meteorologist, two Rimkus engineers, the site inspector, and two USAA insurance adjusters. From the outset of the suit, Rimkus maintained that the allegations were without merit and that the Aikens’ dissatisfaction with the outcome of their insurance claim was a matter to be settled between the Aikens and USAA. The Aikens purchased their Pass Christian, Mississippi vacation beach home in 1998 for approximately $340,000. Following Hurricane Katrina the couple was paid approximately $456,000 in flood and homeowner policy benefits. During the suit the Aikens maintained that, despite accepting $278,000 in flood insurance benefits, the home was actually destroyed by a tornado before any of Katrina’s massive storm surge reached the residence.
After Rimkus and its engineer were vindicated by the judge, the portion of the trial against USAA continued. Yesterday the eight-member jury awarded the plaintiffs just $64,000 in additional insurance payments. Also, the Judge denied the plaintiff’s request to enter a punitive damages phase, which essentially means the plaintiffs will not recover attorney fees or related expenses.
About Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc.
Rimkus Consulting Group, Inc., is a worldwide provider of independent, professional consulting services to insurance companies, law firms, corporations and government agencies. The company assists clients in the responsive and timely resolution of claims and disputes. Rimkus’ educated and experienced engineers, scientists and technical specialists are recognized for excellence in service by local, national and international business communities.
Arch D. Currid