News

OSHA whistleblower claims have skyrocketed since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in March. Attorneys expect a surge in litigation due to COVID-19, but whistleblower claims represent one of the largest categories of litigation related to the pandemic. Business owners can take steps now to reduce their risk of being caught in this litigation by reviewing and implementing CDC, OSHA, and local guidance related to workplace safety practices.
While many businesses purchase insurance policies specific to their industry, most businesses will at minimum hold a commercial general liability (CGL) policy. Those policies cover general business claims including bodily injury and property damage. Below is a good reminder of what your policy’s terms mean and how Mississippi courts specifically may interpret and enforce those terms.
In October, Mississippi Defense Lawyers Association’s publication The Quarterly, recognized Webb Sanders & Williams’ member Roechelle Morgan as one of only five past female presidents of MDLA. Morgan joined MDLA in 2002 and served as Secretary-Treasurer before taking the reigns as President in 2019. The profile accurately describes Ms Morgan as a strong advocate for her clients and a loyal colleague and friend.
Basic Capital Management, Inc., et al v. Dynex Cap, No. 19-11272 (5th Cir. 2020), provides a good, clear case on judicial notice and its use at “any stage” of the proceedings. Plaintiffs in the case first brought suit in 1999 in Texas state court when Dynex Commercial, Inc., failed to fulfill an agreed-upon loan commitment. The Texas Supreme Court, in 2015, entered a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs for more than $55 million. In 2017, the plaintiffs brought a new lawsuit in an effort to enforce the judgment.
Over the course of fourteen months beginning in December 2016, Kellerman Jason Zheng took out at least twenty-four life insurance policies in his brother’s name with both Zheng and his parents listed as beneficiaries. His brother, however, died in April 2015 while on a trip to China. To assist with his ruse, Zheng opened and used bank accounts in his brother’s name and renewed his brother’s driver’s license.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed a Western District of Texas court’s dismissal of a suit for lack of personal jurisdiction over subcontractors. The business agreement between Sayers Construction and its subcontractors began well enough. The subcontractors picked up orders from Sayers’s Florida offices then performed the work on a site in Florida. Afterward, they submitted invoices to Sayers’s Texas offices, and Sayers paid within 45 days of receipt.
Perfecto Valencia sued Allstate Texas Lloyd’s, Inc for breach of contract and violations of various Texas business codes in 2017. Valencia alleged Allstate Texas Lloyd’s, Inc., issued him a homeowner’s policy for property in Houston, Texas that sustained damage in 2015, but his claims were never paid. A separate insurance company with a similar name, Allstate Texas Lloyds (without the Inc.) requested to remove the case to federal court. Allstate Texas Lloyds is located in Illinois, while Allstate Texas Lloyds, Inc., is located in Texas.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the 2020 Ole Miss Insurance Symposium has moved to a webinar format. The symposium offers 12 hours CE and CLE credits for the 2-day webinar. Webb Sanders & Williams has been a long-term supporter of the event. There's still time to register for the 2020 Ole Miss Insurance Symposium here or click here to view the great line-up of speakers.
For the second time this year, the Mississippi Supreme Court ruled the arbitration agreement in an electric cooperative’s (co-op) bylaws are enforceable in disputes with customers (who become members by becoming customers) because
Although this case relies on Texas Insurance Code, it gives all businesses and insurance companies who may find themselves in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals some insight into that Court’s analysis of the specificity required in pleadings to comply with statutory requirements.
D2 Excavating, Inc., agreed to an excavation contract with Thompson Thrift Construction on a site which Thompsons claimed to require no import or export of dirt. In the contract, D2 agreed they’d visited the site and examined it to determine the appropriate amount of work required. Due to heavy rains and an eager client, D2 did not physically examine the site, but rather relied on a computer modeling program to determine how much work the site would require.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life and legal career have been detailed many times since her death in mid-September. As the second-ever female Supreme Court Justice, her reputation of fighting against gender discrimination (for men and women) is well known.
When calculating overtime pay, employers must take into consideration “all remuneration for employment.” Bonuses may or may not factor into that remuneration depending on whether bonuses are “discretionary” or “non-discretionary”. The U.S.
For over five years, Premier Homes and Properties (PHP) built, marketed, and sold residential homes in a development owned by Aftew Properties known as the Village at Motts Landing. Premier Homes and Properties had three members, Key Marco Consulting and Marketing, Alpat Properties, and Klos Construction. The LLC’s operating agreement permitted the member-managers to engage in business that directly competed with PHP.
What does “cause” mean? In a business contract with no explanation of what constitutes cause, two members of Epic Chophouse, LLC, found they had no option to force the withdrawal of a third member. The Business Court sided with Defendant James Morasso when his business partners Richard Mack and Larry Sponaugle attempted to force him out of their LLC. The three partners could not agree on what “cause” meant in their original business agreements and chose to discuss the issue later.
Bettye Turner opened a securities brokerage account with David Carrick when he was employed with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. When Carrick moved to Stern, Agee & Leach, Inc. in 2009, Turner signed an Account Application to transfer her funds to a Stern Agee account.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protect employees against gender and age discrimination. In order to bring a wrongful termination action against an employer, employees are required to exhaust their administrative remedies. Regina Thomas and Pam Pilgram failed to file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission when they were terminated for allegedly stealing from their employer Southern Farm Bureau.
New EEOC guidance for employees and health care providers on opioid addiction and employment addresses how the Americans with Disabilities Act protects employees who use legal opioid medications or have past opioid addictions. Current drug users are not protected by the ADA, however, employees who participate in a Medication Assisted Treatment program for opioid addiction are protected.
Confused about how to implement President Trump’s Memorandum on Deferring Payroll Tax Obligations in Light of the Ongoing COVID-19 Disaster? You’re not alone. The Memorandum defers the employee portion of the Social Security tax from September 1 through December 31. It does not say how long the deferment lasts, and employees will still be liable for the taxes unless some action is taken to eliminate those taxes.
Even a company that follows best practices to protect trade secrets is vulnerable to trade-secret thefts. Zoho, a Software-as-a-Service company, followed all the best practices to reduce the accessibility of sensitive information. In 2010, some employees left the company to start their own business, Freshworks. A decade later Zoho filed suit for trade-secret misappropriation.

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