News

Drones providing high-level pictures and videos of emergency situations may score points on YouTube, but emergency responders aren’t so excited. Claiming drones endanger lives with flyovers during situations like recent Californian forest fires, California state legislators are ready to take action. http://www.laweekly.com/news/law-would-let-authorities-take-down-drones-5823254  
When Advanced Services, Inc began demolition work for Georgia-Pacific, Advanced added Georgia-Pacific as an additional insured on their general liability policy which included an exclusion for insured vs insured lawsuits. During the time of the demolition, a fire occurred on site and damaged some leased equipment. Advanced paid for damages to the equipment company and filed for indemnity against Georgia-Pacific.
In a case of first impression, the Massachusetts Court of Appeals applied a two prong test to determine whether a business pursuits exclusion applied to preclude coverage for claims made against the general contractor/electrician of a project undertaken by the insured for the insured’s parents where a plumber was injured. The first question is does the insured regularly engage in the business as a mean of livelihood. The second question is if change to “whether” the motive of the activity was monetary gain. If both prongs are answered in the affirmative then the exclusion will apply.
Professional cheerleaders are cheering for new reasons in California. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill requiring professional sports teams to pay their cheerleaders at least minimum wage and provide sick leave and compensation for injuries. The bill addresses another instance of the contractor vs employee debate. http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/07/17/pro-cheerleaders-win-employee-rights-in-ca.htm
GM employees may be protected from prosecution due to loopholes and gaps in laws surrounding auto manufacturers. Although the employees saw and failed to report problems that eventually lead to a recall of 2.6 million vehicles and is linked to at least 124 deaths. The company itself is facing criminal wrongdoing charges, but isn't sure specific employees will be charged.
Contrary to the views of several federal courts, the EEOC recently issued an opinion that homosexual bias falls under the workplace rules against gender discrimination. One law professor says the opinion could protect the LGBTQ community from job discrimination. Get the details here: http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/eeoc_opinion_interprets_gay_bias_as_a_form_of_sex_discrimination
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will celebrate 25 years on the Supreme Court this fall. At just 67 years old he's one of the younger Justices and has a distinctive career with SCOTUS beginning with his initial confirmation hearings. This month, The Atlantic magazine wrote a profile about the distinguished judge and his history on the bench.
Comments on social media and posing as an animal rights activist cost one SeaWorld employee his job. SeaWorld says the employee's actions didn't represent the company and has agreed to participate in an investigation into allegations one employee incited violence among peaceful protesters. Find out more here: http://news.findlaw.com/apnews/ceafa3f871ea41c7bc5074b866f65667
Do your vision problems earn you a restricted driver's license? If so, the simple mistake of leaving your glasses at home before getting behind the wheel could cost you. How much a ticket for driving without glasses when your license requires it will cost you depends on where you're driving. Get the details on some state specific laws along with the answer to what you need to do if you've had corrective eye surgery and no longer need glasses here:
Employee or contractor? For both the employer and the workers, it's an important distinction. The U.S. Department of Labor recently published a blog post detailing the six questions companies should ask before they classify a workers a contractor and not an employee. To find these questions, plus details on classifying workers, read this article. http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/07/16/375401.htm#
Dan Webb and Wayne Williams, members of Webb Sanders and Williams PLLC, have been named to the 2015 MidSouth Super Lawyers Magazine. Super Lawyers combines peer nominations and third-party research to evaluate outstanding attorneys from each state. The service rates lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
We’ve covered a lot of the news following the BP oil spill on the Gulf Coast in 2010. From Florida to Texas, Gulf Coast states continue to repair their natural resources, suffer from economic losses and rebuild their fishing communities. Check out which states will be receiving a piece of the $18.7 billion dollar BP settlement, how much each state will receive and how they plan to spend the money.
Eric Joe flew his homemade drone over his family’s Walnut orchard last November. His neighbor, Brett McBay, claimed the drone was test surveillance equipment and shot it down. After attempting to negotiate a settlement in person and through e-mail, Joe took McBay to court, where McBay was ordered to pay Joe $850 for damages to the drone.
“Hand to God”, a Broadway Play that opened in early April, received favorable reviews and nominations for five Tony Awards. Heirs of Lou Costello and William "Bud" Abbott claim the play’s success is due in part to a 1 minute 7 second portion of the duo’s famed “Who’s on First?” routine. Read the details here: http://www.publicopiniononline.com/local/ci_28258998/broadway-play-sues-over-sock-puppet-whos-first
Attorneys, jurors and even judges may be biased by the perception of “deep pockets”, a concern for insurance companies heading into a trial. Changing how jurors perceive the insurance company--as real people not a cold-hearted company--takes planning, the right personalities in the courtroom, and a softer general perception of the company.
WorkCompCentral released a new report chronicling the rise (and now fall) of opioid use in treating pain in workers comp injuries. Unlike other treatments, opioids used for ongoing pain management increase the risk of overdose and death of workers. The report also discusses how use of opioids has decreased as well as recommendations for companies when dealing with workers comp and chronic pain injuries.
We’re in the midst of hurricane season, although it’s luckily predicted to be a quiet one, but it’s the perfect time to look back the really bad storms of the past. Property and Casualty 360 lists the top 10 most expensive hurricanes in U.S. History. We bet you can name #1, but can you name the other 9?
In GATE GUARD SERVICES, L.P.; BERT STEINDORF vs. THOMAS E. PEREZ, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, the 5th Circuit Court explains what constitutes bad faith. The court then applies bad faith to this case of a “DOL investigation and prosecution that violated the department’s internal procedures and ethical litigation practices.” http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/14/14-40585-CV0.pdf
In TestMasters Educational Services Inc vs. State Farm Lloyds, the 5th Circuit recognizes the precedent that leans toward the insured in a duty to defend lawsuit. However, TES’s general liability policy covered advertising injury caused by trade dress but does not cover trademark claims. Find out the difference in the two terms and why the court ruled in favor of State Farm Lloyds here: http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/14/14-20473-CV0.pdf
A new study from The Hartford finds 43% of mid-sized businesses have experienced a data breach and 82% believe a data breach is at least a minor concern. These numbers prove what insurance companies have long known, data breaches aren’t limited to major corporations or government entities.

Pages