News

 The Fifth Circuit Court Of Appeals has affirmed a jury’s decision that St. Paul Surplus Lines must pay Weiser-Brown Operating Company $ 2,290,457.03 in damages for the costs associated with the “loss of control” of an oil well Weiser- Brown operated in Lavaca County, TX. The Court said that St. Paul breached its policy when it failed to either accept or deny Weiser-Brown within 15 days. St. Paul claimed that  it did not receive invoices and other necessary documents from Weiser-Brown and was unable to make a decision before the 15 day deadline.
In a recent opinion, the Nevada Supreme Court responded to certified questions from a federal district court judge, and stated that a conflict of interest requires insurers to provide independent counsel for their insured. In the case of Hansen v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 2013 WL 6086663 (D. Nev.), the court aligned itself with the majority view, applying the California rule laid out in San Diego Navy Fed. Credit Union v. Cumis Ins. Soc'y, Inc., 162 Cal. App. 3d 358, 208 Cal. Rptr. 494 (Ct. App. 1984).
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the Northern District of Mississippi’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Mississippi State University (“MSU”) in a recent employment discrimination action. The action was brought by plaintiff, Dr.
The Mississippi Rule 12(b)(6) standard, and not the Federal 12(b)(6) standard, should be used when analyzing whether a state-court petition contains a sufficient pleading in a remand context.  An order released by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi in New Horizon Church Int’l v. Philadelphia Ins. Co., et al.
Allstate Insurance Company sued a consortium of telemarketing companies, chiropractic clinics, and affiliated law offices spanning several states, contending they had in sought accident victims to make fraudulent claims in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). Particularly, Allstate alleged that the defendants used aggressive telemarketing to recruit car accident victims and then groomed them to file false claims.
The Fifth Circuit recently decided whether Lexington Insurance Company was required to defend and indemnity LCS Corrections Services, Inc., a private prison operator, in a civil rights suit brought by the family of an inmate housed at one of its facilities. The inmate died in detention after the facility allegedly failed to provide him with his medication. The appeal arose from an insurance dispute regarding whether Lexington had a duty to defend and indemnify LCS against the claim by the inmate’s family.
The  United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals has revived portions of a lawsuit brought up by security guards on a Mississippi naval base. The federal court has overturned a Mississippi district court’s decision and has held that a jury should decide whether Securiguard In. should pay its guards for 30 minutes breaks that were reduced by mandatory travel time.
Bill Cosby asks federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit in which American International Group Inc. seeks to avoid paying for his defense against defamation claims made by women accusing him of sexual abuse. AIG claims the homeowner’s insurance policy issued to Bill cover for personal injury claims including defamation, but does not cover personal injury claims arising from “sexual, physical, or mental abuse.” Read more here.  
A New York appeals court has ruled that a former Major League Baseball umpire does not have the right to continue receiving workers compensation benefits after settling a medical malpractice suit. Read the full story here.
Drivers for San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc. have received class action status entitling them to expense reimbursements and the entire amount of any tips they received. This comes as no surprise to litigators who state that the law does not acknowledge any ambiguities a between contractors and employees. Read more here.
President Obama has issued the Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors Executive Order  requiring federal contractors to provide up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year to their employees on new contracts entered into after January 1, 2017. Learn more here.
Some of the most dangerous threats to the protection of your intellectual property are your employees. Employees need access to confidential data to do their jobs but this creates security risks. Click here to find out how to protect your company from employee piracy or negligence.  
A court recently dismissed a case against a former employee of MBL (USA) Corporation accused of disclosing tooling, manufacturing methods, and customer lists MBL uses in producing and selling  urethane flat beds because the company failed to inform employees what information was confidential. Click here for a list of ways to  protect your trade secrets:
It’s never too early to begin evaluating your strategy for addressing current upcoming issues. Topics covered this week include: ADA and alcoholism NLRB guidance on unlawful handbook terms Understanding the intricacies of state and local ban-the-box laws Physicians and employers, take note See more
BP is trying to get back some of the money it paid out to businesses and individuals under the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill settlement. BP’s attorneys are claiming, “a wrong was done” and that the settlement does not preclude BP from seeking restitution for overpayments. Attorneys representing the more than 790 businesses involved  claim that those who receive settlement payments had a right to expect that they could keep the money and get on with their lives. Learn more here.  
When I recently reviewed the photo of Abraham Lincoln on DRI’s recent announcement admonishing us all to “register early,” nostalgia flowed.   It reminded me that my mother often used to say “the early bird gets the worm.” Now that never made much of an impression on me.  Why would I want such a thing?  But, ahem! As the worm has turned and I am older now, I appreciate more what mom was trying to say to these young, however large, ears.  But for a baseball, football, etc.
The Mississippi Supreme Court had previously held that all exclusions were invalid due to Mississippi's mandatory liability policy which holds that all vehicles operating in Mississippi must have at least the minimum coverage at all times regardless of who is driving.
The U.S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has ruled that a student at Itawamba Agricultural High School, who was disciplined for posting a rap video to Facebook and Youtube, (off campus) which, among other things, “threatened” two coaches, was not protected by the First Amendment.  Bell was suspended for “threatening, harassing, and intimidating” the teachers. http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/12/12-60264-CV2.pdf
After Kenneth McGowan was injured while working for Tractor Supply Company of Texas, Ironshore Specialty Insurance Company commenced an action under the Declaratory Judgement Act against TSCLP and Safety National. Ironshore provides an umbrella policy for TSCLP and sought a declaration that Safety National's bodily injury policy insured TSCLP and any indemnity owed by Ironshore would be excess. A federal district court dismissed this declaratory judgment action, but the Fifth Circuit court has reversed and remanded it.
After Bollinger Shipyards Inc. won a multimillion dollar contract to update United States Coast Guard cutters, it withheld preliminary calculations that the 110-foot patrol boats would not withstand an extension to 123 feet and went ahead with the modifications. As a result, all eight boats suffered structural damage and were deemed “unusable.” After the United Stated sued Bollinger, Bollinger sued XL Specialty Insurance Company and Continental Insurance Company for not defending them.

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