News

“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.
In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Young v. United Parcel Service., Inc., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued a new guide on pregnancy discrimination. In Young v.
A Super8 franchisee found out the hard way its franchisor’s contract for losses due to an abandoned franchise is enforceable. A New Jersey court found in favor of Super8 against the franchisee and franchisee’s guarantors. Find out how this law is typical throughout the U.S. and what fees a franchisee can expect to pay. http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/franchisee-101-pay-now-or-pay-later-76319/
Studies show gender diverse and racially diverse company units increased profits over those less diverse units. Many companies struggle to initiate diversity programs that keep general business goals in mind. Here’s how legal teams at Morgan Stanley and Walmart promoted diversity initiatives: http://www.insidecounsel.com/2015/05/28/directing-next-level-diversity
Taylor Swift took a stand against tech giant Apple when she refused to allow the company to use her best selling album “1989” without paying for it. What happens when two media darlings go head to head? Find out here: http://blogs.findlaw.com/celebrity_justice/2015/06/taylor-swift-v-apple-in-court-of-public-opinion.html
BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Co. will be responsible for civil fines under the federal Clean Water Act, said the Supreme Court in June. The two companies co-owned the Macondo well where the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in April 2010. Those penalties have not been imposed yet, but find out what each company might be expected to pay here: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2015/06/29/373294.htm
The Supreme Court disappointed insurance companies last month by ruling to allow disparate impact claims in some housing discrimination suits. These claims do not require a person filing a housing discrimination suit to show they were the victims of intentional bias, rather they may use statistical evidence to prove a policy has a “disparate impact” on a minority group.
If you live in one of the 34 states without a health insurance exchange run by the State, the Supreme Court recently ruled to protect your access to tax subsidies, if you qualify for them. In a 6-3 opinion by the court in late June, the Justices ruled congress meant for the subsidies to be available regardless of which exchange you use.
The Fifth Circuit declined to extend precedent allowing the waiver of Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) claims in certain settlement agreements in its recent decision, Bodle v. TXL Mortgage Corp.  Generally speaking, the FLSA forbids waiver of the right to statutory wages or liquidated damages. However, in Martin v. Spring Break '83 Productions, L.L.C., 688 F. 3d 247 (5th Cir. 2012), the Fifth Circuit permitted an exception where a private settlement agreement was reached over a bona fide dispute regarding FLSA claims.
Officer Jamie Harvel was temporarily reassigned by the Austin Police Department to a training camp in a different part of the city. Officer Harvel was injured while riding his motorcycle to the new assignment. The Division of Workers Compensation of the Texas Division of Insurance denied his claim for workman’s comp benefits. Find out why:
When you apply for homeowner or auto insurance coverage, you likely read through the policy coverage limits pretty closely, but what exactly does supplemental coverage actually cover? Investigation of an accident? Bail bonds? Attorney’s fees? This article breaks out what you can expect and questions you should ask:
Think your company is immune to employee theft because it’s small and your most valued employees have been with you long term? A recent Hiscox survey on employee theft found most instances of employee theft involved employees with long tenures and companies with less than 500 employees--and half of those organizations had fewer than 25 employees. Find out how you can protect your company:
The “connected home” offers opportunities for insurers to better protect policyholders' homes and make filing claims easier and faster. With the new technologies, however, come challenges including how to manage the new data and how to protect customers’ privacy. This article explores how insurers can test the waters of the connected home market.  
An InsuranceQuotes.com survey finds millenials are the most underinsured generation. This generation isn’t just low on health insurance, but they are also less likely to have basic insurance like life, auto and homeowners policies. For a group that ranks education high on their list of priorities, here are five things they should understand about insurance:

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