Two New Examples of Winning/Avoiding Litigation in Other Forums – Autism Treatment/Insurers an

More and more, entities with a stake in actual or potential litigation are taking different paths to an outcome regarding the costs suffered by persons harmed by defective products. My personal bet is that soon there will be requests to Congress to use some of the government’s shares of New Chrysler and New GM to provide the financial basis to create a fund to pay the product liability claimants against Chrysler or GM for whom apparently will be no money to pay whichever of the claims are valid. Indeed, in a hearing yesterday, tort claimants made no forward progress with Judge Gerber.

Two recent examples of creative solutions are set out below. In one, legislators are asking for tax deductions for homeowners with Chinese drywall problems. In the other example, states have specifically legislated that health insurers must pay for some autism treatments that insurers such as Blue Cross of Michigan had refused to cover, and now Blue Cross has agreed to settle the claims AND is now selling a special form of coverage for intensive autism therapy. The message of course is: think creatively. See below for more specifics. _______________________________________________________________Here is the link to the article on the Chinese drywall. Lawmakers Ask IRS for Chinese Drywall DeductionWashington, D.C.(June 22, 2009) By WebCPA StaffFour Southern congressmen have written to the IRS asking for casualty loss deductions for homeowners whose property has been damaged by installations of defective Chinese drywall.Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va.; Jim Webb, D-Va.; and Bill Nelson, D-Fla., along with Rep. Glenn Nye, D-Va., wrote to Floyd Williams, national director of legislative affairs at the IRS, to point out the problems that their constituents have experienced with the drywall.Sen. Jim WebbThey noted that many homes with Chinese drywall have shown evidence of extreme corrosion of pipes, air conditioning coils and electrical appliances. ________________________________________________________________

Here (very detailed) and here are links to articles about autism and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan

In a settlement, Michigan insurance company agrees to pay for autism treatments Tresa Baldas June 22, 2009In what plaintiffs’ lawyers are calling a landmark autism case, a Michigan insurance company has agreed to reimburse at least 100 families for costs involving treatments for their autistic children.The $1 million class action settlement from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan comes amid a legislative wave in which a growing number of a states are passing laws that require insurance companies to pay for autism treatments and screenings. To date, 13 states have such laws, the most recent being Connecticut, Colorado and Nevada. New Jersey is currently considering an autism bill, and Pennsylvania’s law goes into effect July 1.

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About Kirk

Since becoming a lawyer in 1983, Kirk’s over 30 years of practice have focused on advising a wide range of corporations, associations, and individuals (as both plaintiffs and defendants) on both tort and commercial law issues centered around “mass torts.”

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