Articles by Jim Sams

Plaintiffs Win One and Lose One in COVID-19 Business-Interruption Legal Fight

A federal judge in Florida last week denied an insurer’s petition to dismiss a COVID-19 business-interruption lawsuit, while a federal magistrate judge in California threw out a similar claim. Both lawsuits were filed by plaintiffs whose policies excluded coverage for …

Structured Settlement Swindler With Kennedy Ties Sentenced to Prison

A well-connected Virginia financial advisor was sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison for embezzling approximately $8 million from money that the U.S. government and a hospital had entrusted to him to set up annuities for 13 people …

Study Shows Monitoring Plus Coaching Can Cut Risky Driving in Half

Oil-field workers who bomb around in pickups across hundreds of miles of countryside every work week cut speeding and hard braking in half once their boss started monitoring their driving habits and scoring their skills. Researchers for the Virginia Tech …

Liability Claims Against Nurses Cost $20K Even When Insurer Wins

Liability claims that involve nurses cost an average of $210,513 if a large indemnity payment is made, but even claims that are dropped, defeated or dismissed end up costing more than $20,000, according to a report released Monday by CNA …

N.J. Judge Clears Path for COVID-19 Business-Interruption Suit

A second judge has ruled that a policyholder’s COVID-19 business-interruption claim should proceed, marking an uncommon procedural win for business owners who have seen similar lawsuits dismissed by at least six other state and federal judges. Bergen County Superior Court …

5th Circuit Reasserts That Bad Faith Not Necessary to Win Interest Penalty Against Texas Insurers

A Houston plaintiff’s attorney defeated State Farm Lloyd’s for the fourth time on the same issue, this time coming away with a federal appellate court ruling that policyholders don’t have to prove that their insurer acted in bad faith in …

Moody’s Says Wildfire Losses May Hit $8B in a Year Marked by Catastrophes

Moody’s Investor Service said Wednesday that wildfires in the U.S. West have caused $5 billion to $8 billion in insured losses so far — an amount that would make it the third-worst year for fire damage in U.S. history. The …

Appellate Court Revives Medicare Secondary Payer Act Suits by Collection Agents

A federal appellate panel’s ruling opens the floodgates for hundreds of lawsuits filed by collection agents that are seeking billions of dollars in double damages from insurance carriers that are accused of failing to pay for care that ended up …

Stolen Impressionist Classic Turns Up at Museum Exhibit

A painting by American artist Robert Spencer, missing since 1995, was recovered after a Pennsylvania art museum included it in an exhibit. Christopher A. Marinello, owner of Art Recovery International, said one of his researchers spotted a notice in November …

Owners Find Insurance Inadequate to Cover Demolition of Buildings Destroyed by Riots

Some commercial property owners whose businesses were torched by rioters are learning that they don’t have enough insurance to clear away the debris. The StarTribune newspaper reported Monday that many property owners in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area purchased policies that …