Labor & Employment General Business Insurance

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Labor & Employment issues written by leading professionals.
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Does the Fiduciary Exception Apply to Legal Advice Received By Insurers During the Claims Process

Seyfarth Synopsis: Adding to the body of conflicting authority on the scope of the attorney-client privilege in ERISA lawsuits, a district court has found that the fiduciary exception to attorney-client privilege applies to...more

Indiana Applies Heightened Summary Judgment Standard In Determining Vicarious Liability For An Employee Driving A Provided Company...

For an employee, the opportunity to drive a company vehicle is certainly a job perk. For an employer, however, issuing company vehicles comes with the risk that it may be held liable for any negligence of the employee arising...more

Three Point Shot - February 2017

Ski Manufacturer Chills Bode Miller's Comeback - World champion skier and six-time Olympic medalist Samuel "Bode" Miller had his eye on coming out of retirement for the 2016-17 season before a contract dispute with his...more

Fourth Circuit Concludes That State Law Claims For Life Insurance Benefits Are Preempted

The Fourth Circuit recently concluded that a Sears employee’s state law claims seeking money damages based on denial of insurance benefits (for failure to submit evidence of insurability questionnaire) was preempted by...more

Pennsylvania District Court Rejects Effort to Certify Retained Asset Account Claims Against Prudential

In Huffman v. Prudential, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently rejected the plaintiffs’ effort to certify for class adjudication a claim for alleged breach of ERISA (alternatively, state law)...more

Allocating a Pro Rata Defense Share to the Insured in Continuous Injury Cases

In a matter of first impression, the Louisiana Supreme Court recently held that the duty to defend in a long latency disease case could be prorated between the insurer and insured. (See, Arceneaux v. Amstar Corp. 2016 WL...more

Claim for Failure to Reimburse Reasonable Business Expenses Not Barred by EPL Policy’s Wage and Hour Exclusion

Don’t be too surprised if you see a “wage and hour” exclusion in your employment practices liability insurance policy, especially if you have employees in California. While these exclusions purport to bar coverage for claims...more

Oregon State Court of Appeals Recognizes Federal Slayer Law

Oregon, like many states, has on its books a “slayer statute,” which generally prohibits a slayer or abuser of a decedent from obtaining benefits by virtue of the death of the decedent. The parents of Julianne Herinckx...more

Court Nullifies CFO’s Employment Because of Prior Extortion Conviction

In lawsuits over contracts, parties sometimes assert defenses that contracts are voidable or void. A voidable contract is one as to which the party should have a choice as to whether it is enforceable or not; for example,...more

Dealing with Long-Winded Out-of-Network Provider Nuisance Letters

Over the past couple years, more and more of my clients with self-funded plans have received letters from out-of-network providers appealing denied claims. The letters are usually 20 to 30 pages long, not very specific, and...more

Financial Services - Preparing Your Global Workforce for the New UK Whistleblowing Regime

New rules on whistleblowing have come into effect which impact certain Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) regulated financial services firms. The aim of these rules is to promote a...more

NEW UPDATE: Is Your Workers’ Compensation Program Unlawful?

In two previous posts, on April 19, 2016 and June 21, 2016, we reported on the EquityComp workers’ compensation program offered by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries Applied Underwriters (Applied) and California Insurance...more

Upcoming CLE examines ways to avoid tax traps in life insurance

Beware that an employer-owned life insurance contract might not qualify for the usual exclusion from regular income tax. An “employer-owned life insurance contract” (a term that applied to much more than one would think) does...more

Employers Who Self Administer Life Insurance Plans Had Better Do So Correctly

Many employers self-administer welfare benefit plans such as life insurance or disability insurance plans. This self administration requires the employer to determine eligibility for coverage, remit proper premiums and notify...more

Long Term Disability Payments: Standard for Abuse of Discretion

Insurance for long term disability – payments to an insured who is prevented from earning his or her income due to long term disability – is a fruitful field for litigation for many reasons. Though the insurance may be...more

Federal District Court Enforces Forum Selection Clause Contained in ERISA Plan

A federal district court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania transferred an ERISA lawsuit against Caterpillar Inc. to the Northern District of Illinois after finding the forum selection clause contained in the governing...more

What is Title Insurance, Really?

All real estate buyers should consider purchasing title insurance. The premium is approximately $4.00 for every $1,000 of the purchase price. Some see this as an added cost to the deal.  But the cost is well worth the value...more

Bad Faith Actions for Excess Judgments….is There Trouble Brewing for Recalcitrant Primary Insurers

Can an excess carrier go ahead and fund an excess primary limits settlement and then assert a claim for bad faith against the primary insurer who previously refused to accept and fund a prior in-limits policy demand? On...more

Forgery May Not Constitute “Theft” Under an Employee Dishonesty Coverage

Ruling in favor of the insurer on a motion for summary judgment, on July 29, 2016 the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that under the terms of a commercial crime policy, proof of a forgery by the insured’s employee in...more

Food and Beverage Law Update: August 2016

When food and beverage companies think of their largest risks, data breaches have not historically come to mind, but this is changing because of reports in the past few months of major breaches by companies such as Noodles &...more

Tenth Circuit Drills Down Into Roots Of Moral Hazard, Comes Up Dry

Moral hazard (one of this blog’s preoccupations) usually comes up in disputes over the scope of coverage under an insurance policy. But state legislatures often address it, too—for example, by imposing limits on agreements...more

District Court Finds Forum Selection Clause Unenforceable in ERISA Action

A federal district court in Illinois ruled that a plan’s forum selection was unenforceable because it conflicts with ERISA’s public policy of providing plaintiffs “ready access to the Federal courts.” Darlene Harris...more

The Problem With Providers Using Their Own Funds In Their 401(k) Plan

I always say that I come up with many ideas, but most of them are bad. Seriously, there are so many bad ideas out there in the 401(k) space and one of the really bad ideas out there are bundled plan providers using their own,...more

Life and Annuity Series: Class Certified in an ERISA “Unreasonable Compensation” Case

The Colorado federal court concluded last summer, in Teets v. Great-West Life & Ann. Ins. Co., that an insurer could be subject to ERISA liability for receiving unreasonable compensation in connection with a stable value...more

Employing Insurance to Protect You From Wage & Hour Suits In Light of Updated Regulations

In 2014, we reported that wage and hour lawsuits—claims in which employees and companies dispute the amount owed to an employee or class of employees for overtime work— had increased 432 percent over the last two decades. ...more

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