“I’ve never been around a computer that was on a State Farm database,” Graves said. “The allegation is ridiculous. They don’t have a basis for it.”
DeWitt said the law firms’ answer would be filed by Friday, unless the court granted an extension.
“The facts that are in the motion are all wrong,” DeWitt added. “We never went onto their computer system. We never did the things we are alleged to have done. We have not violated any of the rules of professional conduct in Missouri or Mississippi.”
Graves, the former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is associated with the Kansas City law firm of Graves, Bartle and Marcus. Based in Jefferson City, Robertson and DeWitt are with the Kansas City-area firm of Bartimus, Frickleton, Robertson and Gorny. State Farm is also attempting to disqualify Mary Winter, an associate in the Robertson firm.
Both firms were part of a group of lawyers representing Cori Rigsby and Kerri Rigsby, two insurance claim adjusters who said State Farm attempted to manipulate losses caused by Katrina, shifting wind damage claims covered by the insurance company’s policies into flood coverage that is paid by taxpayers through the federal flood insurance program.