LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Mealey's Insurance - Reinsurer Wants To Leave Reinsurance Arbitration Dispute With Arbitration Panel

NEW YORK - A reinsurer asked a federal court in New York on Jan. 25 to place a dispute regarding reinsurance of workers' compensation risks in the hands of an arbitration panel to decide (In the Matter of the Arbitration Between National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-08821, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Insurer Says Court Should Decide If Dispute Can Be Arbitrated

SAN FRANCISCO - An insurer told a federal court in New York on Jan. 6 that the issue of whether a workers' compensation claim dispute can be arbitrated and what parties should participate in the arbitration is up to the court and not up to a panel of arbitrators to decide (In the Matter of the Arbitration Between National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-08821, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Divided Arkansas High Court: Workers' Comp Exclusivity Bars Asbestos Tort Action

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Because the state's workers' compensation system contemplates coverage for mesothelioma, the law's exclusivity provision bars a tort action against an employer, even where the disease arose outside the period for filing a claim, the Arkansas Supreme Court held Dec. 15 in a 4-3 opinion (Brenda Hendrix, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., No. CV-15-558, Ark. Sup.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Divided Arkansas High Court: Workers' Comp Exclusivity Bars Asbestos Tort Action

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Because the state's workers' compensation system contemplates coverage for mesothelioma, the law's exclusivity provision bars a tort action against an employer, even where the disease arose outside the period for filing a claim, the Arkansas Supreme Court held Dec. 15 in a 4-3 opinion (Brenda Hendrix, et al. v. Alcoa Inc., No. CV-15-558, Ark. Sup.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Connecticut Top Court Finds Workers' Comp Court Can Reinstate Dismissed Claims

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The complexity of asbestos cases requires that the workers' compensation commissioner have the power to grant provisional dismissals to "clear the room" and then reinstate claims as necessary, Connecticut's top court held in an opinion set for release on Dec. 20 (John Graham, et al. v. Olson Wood Associates Inc., et al., No. SC 19626, Conn. Sup.; 2016 Conn. LEXIS 371).

Mealey's Insurance - Alleged Reinsurer Says Dispute Regarding Proper Parties Is For Arbitrators

NEW YORK - An alleged reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Dec. 13 that an arbitration panel, and not the court, should decide the proper parties to a workers' compensation reinsurance coverage dispute (In the Matter of the Arbitration Between National Union Fire Insurance Company of Pittsburgh, PA v. Federal Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-08821, S.D. N.Y.).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Misrepresentations On Application Constituted Workers' Compensation Fraud

CAMDEN, N.J. - The owner of a labor staffing firm and the manager committed workers' compensation fraud when misrepresenting the job descriptions of its employees in an attempt to obtain avoid paying for workers' compensation insurance, a federal judge in New Jersey ruled Dec. 14 in granting in part Travelers Property Casualty Insurance Co.'s motion for summary judgment (Travelers Property Casualty Insurance Company v. Quickstuff LLC, et al., No. 14-6105, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172522).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Connecticut Top Court Finds Workers' Comp Court Can Reinstate Dismissed Claims

NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The complexity of asbestos cases requires that the workers' compensation commissioner have the power to grant provisional dismissals to "clear the room" and then reinstate claims as necessary, Connecticut's top court held in an opinion set for release on Dec. 20 (John Graham, et al. v. Olson Wood Associates Inc., et al., No. SC 19626, Conn. Sup.; 2016 Conn. LEXIS 371).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Canadian Boards Can Delay Voting On Garlock Plan Pending Settlement Ruling

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Canada's 10 provincial workers' compensation boards on Dec. 9 got more time from a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge to vote on the Chapter 11 plan for Garlock Sealing Technologies LLC so they can finalize a $20 million settlement with the debtor and related companies of the boards' claims for payments made to more than 1,300 Canadian workers suffering from asbestos diseases (In re: Garlock Sealing Technologies, LLC, et al., No. 10-31607, W.D. N.C. Bkcy.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - New York High Court Allows Police Officer To Pursue Asbestos Case Against Buffalo

ALBANY, N.Y. - A state system designed to compensate injured police officers does not constitute a workers' compensation system and allows for a tort action alleging exposure to asbestos while in the employ of the city of Buffalo, a divided New York Court of Appeals held Nov. 21 (In the Matter of James R. Diegelman, et al. v. City of Buffalo, et al., No. 168, N.Y. App.).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - New York High Court Allows Police Officer To Pursue Asbestos Case Against Buffalo

ALBANY, N.Y. - A state system designed to compensate injured police officers does not constitute a workers' compensation system and allows for a tort action alleging exposure to asbestos while in the employ of the city of Buffalo, a divided New York Court of Appeals held Nov. 21 (In the Matter of James R. Diegelman, et al. v. City of Buffalo, et al., No. 168, N.Y. App.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - New York High Court Allows Police Officer To Pursue Asbestos Case Against Buffalo

ALBANY, N.Y. - A state system designed to compensate injured police officers does not constitute a workers' compensation system and allows for a tort action alleging exposure to asbestos while in the employ of the city of Buffalo, a divided New York Court of Appeals held Nov. 21 (In the Matter of James R. Diegelman, et al. v. City of Buffalo, et al., No. 168, N.Y. App.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Oil And Mining Provider Cape Warns That January Trial Could Threaten Trust

WEST DRAYTON, England - Oil and mining industrial services company Cape PLC announced Nov. 18 that a changing legal landscape means potential damages from an upcoming January trial over liabilities for a former asbestos factory could exceed expectations, potentially endangering a payment scheme designed to compensate injured workers and their family members.

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Oil And Mining Provider Cape Warns That January Trial Could Threaten Trust

WEST DRAYTON, England - Oil and mining industrial services company Cape PLC announced Nov. 18 that a changing legal landscape means potential damages from an upcoming January trial over liabilities for a former asbestos factory could exceed expectations, potentially endangering a payment scheme designed to compensate injured workers and their family members.

Mealey's Insurance - Court Upholds Ruling Ordering Man To Pay Restitution For False Claims

SAN DIEGO - A California appeals panel on Nov. 14 upheld a trial judge's decision to require a man convicted of making false statements to physicians in connection with a workers' compensation claim to pay $30,154.02 to a risk services company, after finding that the defendant was unable to show that the amount should be limited to expenses caused by the crime for which he was convicted (The People of the State of California v. Chany Lopez, No. D069140, Calif. App., 4th Dist., Div. 1; 2016 Calif. App. Unpub. LEXIS 8197).

Mealey's Labor & Employment - Judge Refuses To Remand Former Red Cross Worker's Discrimination Claims

LOS ANGELES - After finding that a former Red Cross employee's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), fraud and other claims against her former employer did not arise under California's workers' compensation law, a California federal judge on Nov. 4 denied her ex parte application to remand the case to a state court (Xochitl Nisbet v. American National Red Cross, et al., No. 16-7342, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153626).

Mealey's Insurance - Liquidator Asks For OK To Have Reinsurer Make Direct Payments To Insured

HARRISBURG, Pa. - The liquidator of an insolvent insurer asked a Pennsylvania court on Nov. 3 to approve a plan by which a reinsurer will make direct payments of workers' compensation and employers' liability claims to an insured, thus relieving the insolvent insurer of its obligations to the insured (In re: Reliance Insurance Company in Liquidation, No. 1 REL 2001, Pa. Cmwlth.).

Mealey's Antitrust/Unfair Competition - Judge Refuses To Remand Former Red Cross Worker's Discrimination Claims

LOS ANGELES - After finding that a former Red Cross employee's claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), fraud and other claims against her former employer did not arise under California's workers' compensation law, a California federal judge on Nov. 4 denied her ex parte application to remand the case to a state court (Xochitl Nisbet v. American National Red Cross, et al., No. 16-7342, C.D. Calif.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 153626).

Mealey's Insurance - Only 2 Claims Against W.R. Grace Insurers Survive Summary Judgment

WILMINGTON, Del. - Two claimants in Libby, Mont., seeking to hold insurers of W.R. Grace & Co. liable for their asbestos injuries can pursue negligence and bad faith claims in state court against an insurer based on workers' compensation policies not covered by W.R. Grace's Chapter 11 reorganization; however, similar claims in other state court actions are barred by an injunction in W.R. Grace's case channeling asbestos claims to a trust for resolution, a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge ruled Oct. 17 (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139 [Ralph Hutt and Carl Osborn v. Maryland Casualty Company, No. 14-50867], [Continental Casualty Company, et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 15-50766], D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Bankruptcy - Only 2 Claims Against W.R. Grace Insurers Survive Summary Judgment

WILMINGTON, Del. - Two claimants in Libby, Mont., seeking to hold insurers of W.R. Grace & Co. liable for their asbestos injuries can pursue negligence and bad faith claims in state court against an insurer based on workers' compensation policies not covered by W.R. Grace's Chapter 11 reorganization; however, similar claims in other state court actions are barred by an injunction in W.R. Grace's case channeling asbestos claims to a trust for resolution, a Delaware federal bankruptcy judge ruled Oct. 17 (In re: W.R. Grace & Co., et al., No. 01-01139 [Ralph Hutt and Carl Osborn v. Maryland Casualty Company, No. 14-50867], [Continental Casualty Company, et al. v. Jeremy B. Carr, et al., No. 15-50766], D. Del. Bkcy.).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Supplier Denies Liability For Injuries From Lithium Battery Explosion

OKLAHOMA CITY - One of the defendants being sued in connection with injuries suffered by two workers when a lithium battery exploded during a hydraulic fracturing operation filed an answer and counterclaim in Oklahoma federal court on Oct. 14, contending that the plaintiffs fail to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and that it is entitled to immunity under the Oklahoma Workers' Compensation Act (Jacob McGehee, et al. v. Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation, et al., and Southwest Electronic Energy Corporation v. Engineered Power LP, et al., No. 15-145, W.D. Okla.).

Mealey's PI/Product Liability - Judge: Case Alleging Failure To Pay Workers' Comp Asbestos Benefits May Proceed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A mesothelioma sufferer has standing to pursue, and the court has jurisdiction over, claims that an employer and its insurer are not making timely payments under North Carolina's workers' compensation statutes, a federal judge in North Carolina held Sept. 9 (James Norman Richardson v. PCS Phosphate Company Inc., et al., No. 16-00068, W.D. N.C; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122354).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Judge: Case Alleging Failure To Pay Workers' Comp Asbestos Benefits May Proceed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A mesothelioma sufferer has standing to pursue, and the court has jurisdiction over, claims that an employer and its insurer are not making timely payments under North Carolina's workers' compensation statutes, a federal judge in North Carolina held Sept. 9 (James Norman Richardson v. PCS Phosphate Company Inc., et al., No. 16-00068, W.D. N.C; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 122354).

Mealey's Toxic Tort/Environmental - Pennsylvania Court Affirms Denial Of Asbestos-Related Prostate Employment Claim

PHILADELPHIA - A firefighter's failure to link occupation exposure to asbestos and other carcinogens to his prostate cancer dooms his workers' compensation claim, a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court held Sept. 7 (Earl Hutz v. Workers' Compensation Appeal Board [City of Philadelphia], No. 2140 C.D. 2015, Pa. Cmwlth.; 2016 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 382).

Mealey's Insurance - Judge: Insurer Did Not Act In Bad Faith In Not Paying Full Benefits To Insured

LAS VEGAS - An insurer did not act in bad faith in failing to pay an insured the policy limits under the underinsured motorist (UIM) provision of an automobile insurance policy because the insured had received payments from workers' compensation for his injuries that were deducted from the insurance payment, a federal judge in Nevada ruled Sept. 7 in granting the insurer's motion for reconsideration (Jose R. Luna v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., No. 15-1104, D. Nev.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 120598).