Monday, June 18, 2012

Health and insurance interesting developments and baby back ribs with aged bourbon, chipotle peppers, mustard and cardamon sauce

Insurance -- Automobile liability -- Bad faith failure to settle -- Common law bad faith action against insurer by plaintiff who was assignee of insured and personal representative of estate of individual who died as result of injuries sustained in accident in which insured rear-ended decedent's vehicle -- Undisputed facts demonstrated no basis from which reasonable jury could conclude that insurer acted solely in its own interest, but instead showed that insurer acted properly and promptly in continually contacting plaintiff in order to discover name of attorney retained by her so that insurer could then contact the attorney -- Insurer was not required to tender check for its policy limits to plaintiff, despite fact that insurer knew plaintiff had retained an attorney -- Trial court properly granted summary judgment on behalf of insurer based on unrefuted evidence that insurer acted in good faith in attempting to settle caseOLIVE GOHEAGAN, as personal representative of the estate of MOLLY SWABY, individually and as assignee of JOHN PERKINS, Appellant, v. AMERICAN VEHICLE INSURANCE COMPANY, a Florida for profit corporation, Appellee. 4th District.

Insurance -- Homeowners -- Wind damage -- Examination under oath -- Under plain language of insurance contract between parties, which allowed insurer to require insured to submit to examination under oath “while not in the presence of any other ‘insured,' ” insured was not prohibited from having his public adjuster present during the insured's examination under oathZAFAR NAWAZ, Appellant, v. UNIVERSAL PROPERTY & CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY, Appellee. 4th District.

Insurance -- Notice of Claim: LATE NOTICE OF HIT-AND-RUN DOOMS UM COVERAGE FOR VICTIM'S FAMILY, DeFrain v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 22 No. 36 Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage 5, Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage June 15, 2012 State Farm owes no uninsured-motorist coverage to the family of a pedestrian who died months after a hit-and-run accident because the insurer was not notified within 30 days of the incident, a split Michigan Supreme Court has ruled. In a 4-3 decision, the court held there was no requirement that an insurer actually be prejudiced by its policyholder's failure to provide notice within the amount of time specified in a contractual notice provision.

Arbitration Agreements: JUDGE UPHOLDS ARBITRATION AGREEMENT DESPITE UNAVAILABLE FORUM, Meskill v. GGNSC Stillwater Greeley, 14 No. 25 Westlaw Journal Nursing Home 6, Westlaw Journal Nursing Home June 15, 2012 The son of a deceased nursing home resident must arbitrate his negligence claims against the facility even though the forum specified in the arbitration contract is no longer available, a federal judge in Minneapolis has ruled. Judge Richard H. Kyle of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota granted a motion to compel arbitration filed by the operator of Golden Living Center Greeley.The forum specified in the nursing home's contract, the National Arbitration Forum, no longer exists.

Interesting medmal Legislation: MICHIGAN SENATE MULLS BILL TO WAIVE DOCTORS' MED-MAL LIABILITY, 14 No. 25 Westlaw Journal Nursing Home 8, Westlaw Journal Nursing Home June 15, 2012 A Michigan Senate committee is considering legislation that would excuse health care providers from medical malpractice liability if they can show they used "professional judgment" in caring for a patient. SB 1116 is part of a package of medical malpractice bills currently under review by the Senate Committee on Insurance that would prohibit claimants from recovering prejudgment interest and limit noneconomic damages awards. SB 1116 is known as the "physician judgment rule”.

Regulatory Initiative: CMS CALLS FOR REDUCTION IN NURSING HOMES' USE OF ANTIPSYCHOTIC DRUGS, 14 No. 25 Westlaw Journal Nursing Home 9, Westlaw Journal Nursing Home June 15, 2012 The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced a national initiative to reduce the use of antipsychotic drugs in nursing homes by 15 percent by the end of the year. The Partnership to Improve Dementia Care calls for increased transparency on facilities' use of antipsychotics, as well as enhanced training for nursing home employees on quality care and non-pharmacological alternatives to antipsychotic treatment. Acting CMS administrator Marilyn Tavenner announced May 30.

Mental Illness: 9TH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS LANDMARK MENTAL ILLNESS COVERAGE RULING, Harlick v. Blue Shield of Cal., 22 No. 36 Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage 4, Westlaw Journal Insurance Coverage June 15, 2012 A California insurance law requires Blue Shield to cover residential treatment for a policyholder who suffered from an eating disorder, a split federal appeals court has ruled, reaffirming its groundbreaking 2011 decision. A 2-1 panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied Blue Shield of California's request for a rehearing en banc and reached the same conclusion as it did in its original ruling.

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