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Category Archives: Insurance

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Allianz and Praedicat Expand Access for Manufacturers to Access a System for Enhancing Product Stewardship and Monitoring Product Risks

Posted in Insurance, Insurance Coverage for Tort Claims, Litigation Industry, Science
A press release yesterday brought news of an interesting next step in the process of increasing the intersections between law and molecular science. In short, liability insurance clients of Allianz will receive access to the ChemMeta analytic system developed by Praedicat. The ChemMeta system evaluates scientific literature regarding a selected set of chemicals that are… Continue Reading

Karma – Buffet and National Indemnity Ordered to Pay $43 Million in Libby Mine Case

Posted in Asbestos, Insurance
Those who understand asbestos litigation will appreciate the karma one could see in this outcome. For the rest of you, sorry, but the story is much too long to tell. Suffice it to say it involves lots of “float” and lots of  premiums for after the fact asbestos coverage. “Posted: Mar 05, 2018 4:11 PM… Continue Reading

K&L Gates Explains: Who Will Be Handling Your [Asbestos] Claims Under Berkshire Hathaway’s Latest Retroactive Reinsurance Deals?

Posted in Asbestos, Insurance, Resolute
Berkshire’s appetite for asbestos claim revenue has generated numerous interesting deals, to the least. The latest pair of deals received some public analysis in a July 13, 2017 web site article by insurance coverage lawyers at K & L Gates.  The introduction describes the deals reviewed; see the full article for the conclusions. “Earlier this year,… Continue Reading

Cozen O’Connor Says: “Are Attorneys’ Bills Privileged Once Litigation Ends – California Supreme Court Says No in ACLU Litigation?”

Posted in Insurance, Litigation Industry
For persons and entities involved in mass tort claiming and litigation with insurance companies and/or other payors, there’s a new and potentially notable ruling about access to past bills for legal work. The ruling is described in a February 14, 2017 article at JD Supra by Cozen O’Connor.  Pasted below are the introduction and conclusion… Continue Reading

Hartford Closes Out 2016 With $420+ Million Charge for More Asbestos Losses

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Insurance
As previously predicted by yours truly and other members of a multidisciplinary team, asbestos losses continue to rise for insurance companies. To start 2017, Hartford announced a $423 million charge to expand its coverage from NICO/Resolute.  Note that the price of the coverage is essentially 43 cents on the dollar. That’s notably more expensive than… Continue Reading

Resolute Takes a Hit; Amtrak Wins Broad Discovery

Posted in Asbestos, Litigation Industry, Resolute
Resolute’s asbestos claims management is in the gunsights of many, for multiple reasons. Resolute just took a notable discovery hit from Amtrak and Anderson Kill. Specifically, a November 23, 2016 opinion reaffirms and extends prior orders requiring broad production of documents and/or privilege logs. The new opinion and order is  Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s v.… Continue Reading

Reliving Part of the Manville Bankruptcy: Bogdan Law Firm v. Bevan & Assocs., LPA (In re Johns-Manville Corp.)

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Fraud by Insurers and Their Lawyers, Insurance
The Johns-Manville chapter 11. A debacle of expediency and short-term thinking from 1992-1998, and then later “do overs.” In one of its phases, there were multiple “direct actions” suits against Travelers, which was the primary primary insurer of Manville. According to some plaintiff lawyers, Manville and Travelers conspired to defraud many plaintiffs. As a result,… Continue Reading

Plaintiffs Continue to Probe the Limits of Bankruptcy Court Injunctions in Mass Tort Cases

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Insurance
Plaintiffs continue to probe the limits of bankruptcy court injunctions, an effort that is even more interesting while the Second Circuit’s GM decision makes it way up to SCOTUS. As to the probes, this week brought two new rulings in the WR Grace chapter 11 proceedings. One partially succeeded and one did not succeed at… Continue Reading

Indictments Against Engineering Firm Hired by Insurance Company Lawyers for Superstorm Sandy Claims

Posted in Fraud by Insurers and Their Lawyers, Insurance, Litigation Industry
It took some time, but 50 indictments finally emerged for the engineering firm hired by property damage insurance company lawyers to knock down damages for policyholders crushed by Superstorm Sandy. It’s good to see fraud prosecuted, regardless of which side is committing the fraud. Interestingly, however, the insurance industry and the US Chamber of Commerce… Continue Reading

Garlock’s “Plaintiff Fraud” Claim Fails in Kentucky Under Time Bar Law

Posted in Asbestos, Fraud by Insurers and Their Lawyers, Insurance, Litigation Industry
Garlock’s “plaintiff’ fraud” claims apparently will not be tested on the merits in Kentucky as it just lost an intermediate court appeal. Like the trial court, the appellate court tossed the case based on statute of limitations grounds. There, the jury apportioned fault among some 20 defendants, but Garlock alleged that a different four were… Continue Reading

Software, Predictive Models, and Discovery Against Insurance Companies

Posted in Health Insurer Discrimination Against Persons with Chronic Diseases, Insurance, Insurance Coverage for Tort Claims, Litigation Industry
The discovery wars of tomorrow will include plaintiffs seeking access to existing and future analytic and predictive databases and models operated by insurers. Why? In part because the insurers are further ramping up the use of predictive analytics, according to a March 1, 2106 article in Carrier Management.  A key excerpt from its states: “Some… Continue Reading

Thursday November 19, 2015 Webinar on Insurance Industry Asbestos Reserves and Asbestos Science

Posted in Asbestos, Insurance, Litigation Industry
Asbestos litigation keeps on going. Indeed, a couple of weeks ago, AM Best put out yet another iteration of its annual report on asbestos and pollution reserves of liability insurers. Rather like the Federal Reserve’s messaging on interest rates, AM Best’s release appeared to include messaging about asbestos reserves of the insurance industry. The message? In 2016,… Continue Reading

Travelers Once Again Raises Its Asbestos Reserve (as Predicted)

Posted in Asbestos, Insurance
Who recently said insurers are under-reserved for asbestos litigation despite several years of increasing reserves ? The multi-disciplinary team of Hartley, Wilt, Schwartz and Ciavarra, in our white paper from late this summer on asbestos science and litigation. CNA made us look good a couple of weeks later when it raised its asbestos loss numbers,… Continue Reading

CNA Takes An Asbestos Hit the Market Did Not Expect; More “Adverse Development”

Posted in Asbestos, Insurance, Resolute
An August 3, 2015 story in Insurance Insider reports a notable new $150 million second quarter charge taken by CNA for asbestos litigation. The full story is behind a paywall, here.  Last year, CNA took a $479 million charge. According to the story, “the market” did not see this coming. Perhaps “the market” needs to… Continue Reading

Childbirth Left Her a Quadriplegic After Medical Malpractice; How Would Damages Caps Be Fair to this Family?

Posted in Caps on Damages, Damages, Insurance, Litigation Industry, Medical Malpractice, Policy Issues
Advocates of damages caps in medical malpractice cases seldom, if ever, confront the gross unfairness of leaving on one person the economic burden of a medical error. That risk instead can and should be spread to many since actuaries say they can predict the general patterns of medical treatments and error rates, and can provide… Continue Reading

Virtues of Open Access to Big Data on Claiming and Payment Systems

Posted in Asbestos, Asbestos Bankruptcy, Fraud by Insurers and Their Lawyers, Health Insurer Discrimination Against Persons with Chronic Diseases, Insurance, Litigation Industry, Mass Tort Issues, Science
Access to “big data” is important to multiple aspects of claiming and payments systems. For example, secrecy in data helps some health insurance companies avoid analysis and compilation of data on how often they deny access to stem cell transplants to persons with cancer. Blocking access to data also helps health insurers make it harder… Continue Reading

More Deja Vu All Over Again – Benzene Litigation and Insurance Company Arguments

Posted in Asbestos, Benzene, Insurance, Litigation Industry
Yogi Berra probably never dreamed of the number of times his line would reused. In any event, it applies well to insurance companies dancing around coverage issues for benzene litigation, as they’ve done many times in asbestos litigation. HarrisMartin’s Benzene publication provides an example (paywall) in a June 4, 2015 article.  The summary provided in… Continue Reading

Useless Insurance – Why Do Risk Managers Buy These Policies?

Posted in Insurance, Uncategorized
An April 20, 2015 post at D&O Diary describes policy terms that essentially defeat the purpose of buying D&O coverage. One has to wonder why risk managers buy policies that say:  “No Claims expenses shall be incurred or settlements made, contractual obligations assumed or liability admitted with respect to any claim without the insurer’s written… Continue Reading

“State Farm Sued for Fraud for Katrina: More Altered Engineering Reports Alleged”

Posted in Fraud by Insurers and Their Lawyers, Insurance, Litigation Industry
More and more policyholders are finding concrete examples of property insurers and their experts altering expert engineering reports in order to try to create fake evidence to justify refusing to pay claims. In short, outright fraud by some (not all) insurers. State Farm is now targeted for doing the same thing during claims arising from… Continue Reading

A New and Valuable Conference at Rutgers – The American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law of Liability Insurance

Posted in Insurance, Insurance Coverage for Tort Claims
Rutger’s strikes again as to insurance issues. Online promotion is here, and pasted below for the February 27th conference. Agenda here. The conference is a great chance to learn about the law related to liability insurance. Even more specifically, attendees plainly will learn a great deal about how various actual and potential sections of the… Continue Reading

More Insurer Fraud Identified in Super Storm Sandy Litigation – Major Hearing Ahead

Posted in Fraud, Insurance, Litigation Industry, Mass Tort Issues
An update on the apparent wave of fraud in Super Storm Sandy litigation by property insurers and their experts and lawyers. In short, the situation is growing worse for insurers and their agents. In a new ruling, a panel of three Magistrate Judges wrote that it appears that at least 4 more examples of gross… Continue Reading

Health Insurer Failures in Explaining 2015 Plans – A Mass Mailing Of Incorrect Information – A New Example from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois

Posted in Insurance
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois continues to fail spectacularly.  The latest example is from a BCBS email dated December 13, 2014. It arrived in my email inbox over the weekend. One has to ask and wonder what – if any – quality control procedures are used by the various BCBS companies. The text of… Continue Reading