News

Imagine having a bird’s eye view of a disaster area just minutes or hours after the disaster occurs. Those moments when debris or other dangers prevent physical access to the site are often the most critical in terms of search and rescue and property recovery efforts. Drones offer new opportunities to assist communities and survivors in the moments they need help the most, however, current FAA policy doesn’t allow private sector use of drones for disaster recovery during these critical times.
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania recently held that specifically tailored requests to an insurer for information regarding an adjuster whose conduct was at issue in the litigation was discoverable so long as the requests were limited in scope.
We’ve regularly covered cases involving the BP Deepwater Horizon 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. All our discussions so far have focused on decisions affecting the U.S. However, Mexico has filed claims in the case as well. Specifically the Mexican states of Veracruz, Tamaulipas, and Quintana Roo filed a suit against BP, Transocean, Halliburton, and Cameron. The case was initially dismissed by the district court because the Mexican states did not hold a sufficient “proprietary interest”. The Mexican States appealed the case to the 5th Circuit Court.
Jenkins v. City of San Antonio Fire Dep't, No. 14-50483, 2015 WL 1802133 (5th Cir. Apr. 20, 2015) Randy Jenkins brought suit against the City of San Antonio Fire Department (SAFD) alleging discrimination on the basis of race and age as well as retaliation in violation of Title VII. The Fifth Circuit ultimately affirmed the District Court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the SAFD on the basis that Jenkins's Complaint was untimely and failed to establish a prima facie case discrimination and retaliation.  
A recent interview with Europol director Rob Wainwright reveals banks and their employees are the main targets of hackers, not necessarily bank customers. While some recent attacks have been made public, many others have not. Unless banks improve their defenses, they run the risk of not being able to deal with future attacks.
April marks Autism Awareness month and Webb Sanders showed our support by sponsoring the Run Wild 5K, a fundraiser organized to benefit the Autism Center of North Mississippi. During the month of April, the Autism Center raised $24,000.00 with the Run Wild 5k contributing $10,000 to the final total. We are so proud to sponsor such a worthy cause.
While most small business owners worry about common claims like theft and property damage, studies have shown that the most common claims aren’t always the most expensive.
Workers’ compensation laws vary from state to state, however all states tend to have a similar basis for claims: If an injury is work-related, the injured party is generally entitled to recover workers’ compensation benefits. But what about a heart attack? Whether a heart attack is work related is not so easy to establish. Dietary habits and physical conditions could play a role in a worker’s heart attack. However, if it is established that stress from work aggravated a worker’s conditions to trigger a heart attack, the worker may be eligible for benefits.
Usually, when a dog injures a person, that person sues the dog's owners.  Sometimes, there is a question under the policy whether the insurer for the owner is required to defend and indemnify.  There isn't much leeway in the whole process. Or so we thought. A recent decision out of North Dakota throws a wrench in the traditional dog injury case.  In Morrison v. Sioux Falls Mutual, No. 2014-2469 (So. Central Dist. Ct., N.D. Mar.
Attorney Catherine Servati joined the North Mississippi legal community in an effort to provide legal assistance to those who may have lost access to navigate the justice system. When the funding for North Mississippi legal services was reduced, the legal community opened a clinic with the hopes of helping those who cannot help themselves. Servati, along with many other local lawyers, volunteered their time to provide aid to those in need. Find out more about the Lee County Legal Clinic.
Most cases involving vaccine allegations were fast-tracked which allowed families to receive compensation within a year or two. In the last 15 years, cases have increased substantially with only 2% being fast tracked. The Supreme Court now has an opportunity to weigh in on whether people who suffer harmful vaccine side effects should have an easier time receiving compensation.
Following allegations of fraud and underestimates of payments to Hurricane Sandy survivors, the Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will provide Hurricane Sandy survivors an opportunity to have claims readjusted. FEMA also says it will make “sweeping reforms” in the way they deliver the National Flood Insurance Program.
You can’t insure against everything. In Mitchell Scruggs, et al. v. Greg Bost, et al., the policyholder (Scruggs) initially told his insurance broker he wanted to be covered “in the event that anybody sues us over almost anything.” When he was sued for patent infringement, his policy denied coverage because the policy did not cover illegal behavior. Scruggs then sought to hold his broker liable for not securing coverage to protect against a patent infringement claim. The court denied his claim against his broker. Find out why.
Governor signs House Bill 346, which will allow auto insurance companies to include, and rely upon, exclusions in their auto policies. Application of exclusions to deny or limit coverage to less than the statutory minimum liability limit was questionable after the Mississippi Court of Appeals ruling in Lyons v. Direct General Ins. Co., 138 So. 2d 930 (Ct. App. Miss.
Although the agency responsible for managing the federal flood insurance program has made progress in carrying out key changes mandated by Congress, they lack the resources and data to completely implement all changes. http://bit.ly/199EvGe​   
This “expanding” scope of the “who can sue whom” may be moving into Mississippi as well.  We are defending a suit where the  plaintiff was a passenger in a car driven by her husband.  They had an accident with a truck.  Her husband died and she was injured.  She sued the truck driver and got money in the settlement in one role on behalf of the estate as a wrongful death beneficiary of her husband and for her own injuries while claiming the truck driver was the sole (read, only) cause of the wreck.
Florida insurers could be at risk for liability for payment of a plaintiff's attorney's fees based on the language in their own policy. While it still appears that the majority of Florida courts will deny direct recovery of attorney’s fee awards from insurers when the recovery is based solely upon Florida’s proposal of settlement statute, Florida insurers may still be compelled to pay because of language contained in the insurance policy itself.
Some communications are just meant to be read not heard, especially those that include emoticons. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of Manhattan recently ruled jurors should be instructed to read Internet communications from a defendant which included the popular smiley faces. 
COME JOIN US ON MARCH 18-19, 2015 The Symposium offers participants the ability to receive up to 9 hours of continuing education credit in either property-casualty or life-health.  This year’s keynote speaker is Glenn M. Renwick, Chairman, President and CEO of Progressive Insurance. The event speakers, listed below,are outstanding :

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