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  • September 24, 2018

    (Statutory Immunity Applies to Bar Causes of Action Predicated on Underwritten Title Company Charging for Services for Which No Rate Has Been Filed with the Department of Insurance)

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  • September 24, 2018

    In Liberty Surplus Insurance Corp. v. Ledesma & Meyer Construction Co., Inc., 5 Cal.5th 216 (2018), the California Supreme Court held, in answering a question certified to it by the United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, that the employer’s (“Ledesma” or “L&M”) negligent hiring, retention and supervision of an employee (Hecht) who molested a student at a school construction site constitutes an “accident” as that term is used in the definition of “occurrence” in a general liability policy. In so holding, the Supreme Court found that the term “accident” is more comprehensive than the term “negligence” and includes negligence.

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  • September 24, 2018

    In Pulte Home Corp. v. American Safety Indem. Co., 14 Cal.App.5th 1086 (2017), the California Fourth District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court’s decision that a duty to defend Pulte Home Corporation (“Pulte”) was triggered under three American Safety policies issued to subcontractors which included additional insured endorsements (“AIEs” or “endorsements”) affording coverage to Pulte for liability arising out of the named insured’s work, but only with respect to ongoing operations. Essentially, the Court of Appeal held that the language in the endorsements was ambiguous, such that a defense was owed to Pulte under the American Safety policies, notwithstanding American Safety’s attempt to limit coverage for Pulte to only the time that its named insured was working on a jobsite. 

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  • August 14, 2018

    Hate crimes occur in the workplace in every state. However, across the nation there is very little case law explaining whether hate crimes are compensable under workers’ compensation law. California is one of the few states that has enacted legislation explicitly prohibiting the denial of workers’ compensation benefits based solely on an assailant’s hatred of an employee-victim based on their membership to a protected class. But most states’ workers’ compensation statues are not clear on whether hate crimes are compensable under workers’ compensation.

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  • August 14, 2018

    Effective January 1, 2018, the Administrative Director of California adopted 23 new regulations, California Code of Regulations numbers 9792.27.1 through 9792.27.23, for the purpose of creating a “formulary for medication.” In the Administrative Director’s statement regarding the adoption of the formulary, the national and statewide issue of deaths related to the use of opioid medications was cited, as was the goal of providing “safer prescribing” of opioid pain relievers. The Administrative Director also cited the more general goal of “broadly updating” the Medical Treatment Utilization Schedule to allow patients to receive treatment which is “in accordance with the most recent standards of evidence-based care.”

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  • August 14, 2018

    The Appellate Division of the Rhode Island Workers’ Compensation Court recently took steps to clarify the sometimes vexing problem of which carrier is to be assigned liability in an occupational disease claim. In Auda Vielman v. Tiffany Co., W.C.C. 2013-0164, the court considered the claims of various insurers for a repetitive trauma which “occurred” over numerous years performing repetitive work as a jewelry assembler for the same employer.

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  • August 14, 2018

    With the increasing number of states legalizing marijuana, it’s clear that it will have an effect on the workplace injury compensability. While marijuana as a treatment for chronic pain has become a hot topic, a lesser known way in which marijuana can complicate the workers’ compensation system is less discussed: intoxication.

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  • August 14, 2018

    Settling workers’ compensation claims is often a method used to resolve difficult cases or those cases where high benefit exposure exists. The parties typically rely on standard and boilerplate settlement documents which have been previously approved by the court. The Appellate Division of the Rhode Island Supreme Court recently considered the use of such boilerplate language, and its decision on the use of certain standard language should cause all parties to consider and review their existing settlement documents more closely.

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